Localism is enjoying a pretty big ‘buzz’ at present. Sure, ‘Big Society’ has gone a little quiet, but there’s always been action in local communities. Only now, hard financial realities at national level are making local authorities and communities speed up creative processes to ‘do it for themselves’ by necessity.
We’ve blogged about community share options on renewables and the range of activities going on around the country thanks to Leaf funding – and there’s so much more going on. Area-based initiatives, where local knowledge is really focused on and analysed in some depth, are the way local authorities are going in their drive to sustainability.
A portion of activities revolve around putting a clear strategy in place to increase take-up of energy efficiency measures and renewables – and explain the benefits in a way ay that makes sense to people locally.
This is something that Bristol City Council seems to be taking seriously with their ‘solar map’ – a bird’s eye view of Bristol’s solar PV potential. Not only does it look rather striking, the mapping work has suggested that around a third – approximately 80,000 – of all Bristol’s roofs are suitable for solar.
Area-based initiatives are often very collaborative affairs, and this is no different. Local installers helped validate the mapping estimates and the local renewables industry, community energy groups, the council, Bristol University and others interested in solar have recently formed the Bristol Solar Group.
James Lancaster, acting chair of the group, had this to say about the useful techno gizmo developments:
“I am very pleased to see that Bristol City Council has produced a solar map for Bristol. Experience from other European cities shows that this can greatly speed up the uptake of installations…we are helping local businesses and residents understand they have a real choice and this map is a great step forward.”
Of course if you want a highly personalised and interactive report on your own home’s solar potential, Bristolian or not, check out our own Solar Calculator. And if you know of any other local authority innovation worth shouting about, feel free to let us know.