The council passed a motion last Tuesday (7 September) to develop a Green Energy Action Plan, which  will explore government-backed plans for councils to generate and sell their own power, through what is known as ‘feed-in tariffs’.

The move allows authorities across England and Wales to generate green electricity for their own use through solar panels and wind turbines and sell any surplus energy directly to the national grid.

Birmingham’s deputy leader, Paul Tilsley, presented the motion, claiming it would allow the council to ‘take a leading role in tackling climate change’.

He added: “We currently spend in excess of £25million per annum on energy; the freedom to reduce this now exists and we should be maximising feed-in tariffs to their full potential.”

Birmingham has already proved to be effective at reducing carbon emissions, with three CHP schemes in the city saving around 12,800 tonnes of CO2 per annum.

With the added financial incentive feed-in tariffs provide for councils – an estimated £100million per year across England and Wales – it may come as little surprise the city is investigating options.

Mr Tilsley added: “The development of micro generation facilities that can take advantage of feed-in tariffs is a further step on the road to reducing C02 emissions, cutting our energy bills and via the income generated, allowing us to invest the money in council services.”

Sam Plester

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