County Council to support Climate Changing community project

Hampshire County Council has agreed to invest £10,000 – as a shareholder - in a community renewable energy scheme, as part of the Authority’s activity to support the county to become Carbon Neutral by 2050 and be resilient to a two degrees rise in temperature

Jan 28 2022

The funding, from the County Council’s Climate Change budget, was agreed by the Deputy Leader and Executive Lead Member for Economy Transport and Environment, Councillor Rob Humby, on the basis that it will support the development of Test Source Community Energy (TSCE) – a Community Benefit Society, set up by Sustainable Overton - to deliver a community energy scheme in the village. At the heart of the scheme is the operation of a 330kWp Solar Photo Voltaic scheme at Southley Farm. 

In approving the recommendations, on behalf of the Executive Member for Climate Change and Sustainability – Councillor Jan Warwick - Councillor Humby said: “Before today’s decision meeting, Councillor Warwick and I took time to discuss this proposal in depth. We noted from the report that renewable energy generated within Hampshire is less than 3% of total production. Therefore, we agree that it is clear there is a great opportunity here for us to help residents to take action and work together to increase the volume of energy that is generated locally, which is low carbon and sustainable. However, we both understand that the process is not straightforward and that establishing viable schemes is complicated.

“Decarbonising national and local energy systems will be crucial to the successful achievement of the County Council’s targets at both the national and local levels.  By investing in this particular scheme, we can help the project move further forward, as well as set an example and create a model that could be adopted by other communities in other parts of Hampshire.”

Sustainable Overton’s Test Source Community Energy scheme was one of five identified as being suitable for ‘first-steps’ business support, through the County Council’s project with Community Energy South. The partnership project provides the starting point for a countywide community energy network to grow, across Hampshire, in a self-sustaining way, to meet local needs.  

The other groups receiving business development support in the form of guidance and training from Community Energy South are: Energy Alton, Greener Brockenhurst, Hambledon Greening Campaign, and Petersfield Climate Action Network.

Councillor Humby concluded: “We have declared a Climate Emergency in Hampshire and have put in motion an action plan to meet the clear targets we have set. Furthermore, we have also set 2022 as our Year of Climate Resilience. However, as we have said before, as a local authority we simply cannot reach the targets alone. For Hampshire to be successful in meeting the challenge of tackling climate change – being carbon neutral and resilient to a temperature rise - our partners, residents and businesses must play their part in taking action and create real lasting changes. Wherever we can, and resources allow, we will provide appropriate support. 

The first Climate Change Annual Progress Report 2020 – 2021 published in November last year, set out the significant progress that is being made across the county to reduce carbon emissions and ensure that Hampshire is prepared for the impacts of climate change. The work is focused on key areas including making homes more energy efficient and generating local renewable energy.  The report also highlights how the County Council is working with partners to support residents and communities to take action and make their contribution to tackling climate change.

Hampshire County Council Year of Climate Resilience 2022

The County Council set a target for climate resilience acknowledging the significant impact of climate change on our communities, our infrastructure, and the services we deliver. Climate resilience is crucial and rising temperatures, increased flooding and more extreme weather events have already been felt in Hampshire. In recognition of the importance of building resilience, the County Council has declared 2022 the “Year of Climate Resilience”. This presents an opportunity for the County Council to increase awareness of the importance of resilience, promote our unique approach and the actions we are taking to build resilience, and to develop some showcase projects in partnership with key stakeholders. More information can be found on the Council’s Climate Change website: Responding to climate change | Hampshire County Council (hants.gov.uk)