Cambridgeshire is the clear leader of the East of England counties in generating renewable energy, new figures show.
In a comparison of eastern counties’ renewable energy capacity by the think tank Green Alliance, Cambridgeshire is comfortably in first place, with impressive levels of solar and onshore wind. Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk are all taking advantage of the eastern sunshine, as the study shows that all three counties have good levels of rooftop solar, with nearly 80,000 households across the whole region now boasting solar panels.
Locally, St Edmundsbury was the top local authority in the region, with a staggering 110% of its electricity consumption coming from renewable sources. Most of this is from biomass and waste, but it is supplemented by solar panels, showing how an area’s electricity needs can be met by a diversity of renewable sources.
For the region as a whole, solar panels are the major source of the East of England’s renewable energy. The region currently has more than a gigawatt of solar capacity installed, as well as a gigawatt of offshore wind out at sea (not included in the county or local authority rankings above), which is enough offshore wind to meet the electricity needs of one million households, ten times the size of Norwich.
As a whole, renewables are generating over a quarter (28%) of the region’s electricity consumption. For regions in England and Wales, this puts the East of England in third place below Yorkshire and the Humber, and Wales.