The Raven's Blog

29.04.19

Providing clean energy to Cornwall

Source: PSE April/May 2019

Steve Ford, head of strategy and delivery at Cornwall Council, outlines the incredible work his authority has been doing to provide renewable energy to residents on the south-west coast.

In July 2015, Cornwall Council made history by becoming the first rural authority to secure a devolution deal, given power over £568m government funding to deliver services to local businesses and residents. Just three years on, Cornwall has managed to deliver over 50% of its original commitments including a 100% business rate retention pilot, enabling over 11,000 business interactions through the Growth and Skills hub and Better Business for All service. Good progress has been made with two key local priorities: reducing fuel poverty in 1,000 households in Cornwall now, and exploring the delivery of renewable energy in Cornwall in the future.

Due to the nature of Cornwall’s housing stock, traditional energy efficiency programmes have been unsuccessful in tackling the problems caused by the rural, solid wall, off-grid households, leaving it with a higher than average number of homes living in fuel poverty – 14.1% compared with the national average of 10%. Through the devolution deal, an Energy Company Obligation (ECO) flex eligibility pilot was developed with the council, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, SSE Energy Solutions, and referral partners. The pilot is being administered through the nationally-recognised Warm and Well programme, which, along with funding from the National Grid’s Warm Homes fund, will lead to £11.5m in investment over three years into making the homes of over 1,000 vulnerable households in Cornwall cheaper to heat every year.

Cornwall’s ambitions on renewable energy extend beyond securing Cornwall’s power supply towards making a significant contribution to the UK’s future prosperity. Cornwall’s extensive granite means it is seen as the most promising part of the UK to create combined heat and power using geothermal sources. As a result, deep geothermal was recognised as an opportunity within Cornwall Council’s strategy and business plan, with the potential to create a new energy sector for the UK.

Through the Cornwall Devolution Deal, the government agreed to continue to work with Cornwall Council to assess the potential support mechanisms for deep geothermal, should the resource be proven via locally-driven investment. As part of its commitment, the council agreed to appoint a dedicated geothermal policy officer to coordinate geothermal and heat network projects in Cornwall. This also included working with the managing authority to develop a deep geothermal European Regional Development Fund call.

The £18m United Downs Deep Geothermal Power project at United Downs near Redruth secured £10.6m from the European Research Development Fund (ERDF), match funded by £2.4m from Cornwall Council and £5m through a successful crowdfunding campaign.

The project, designed to harness Cornwall’s geothermal potential, has started drilling the UK’s deepest ever borehole in Cornwall in a bid to use heat from hot rocks as a zero-carbon source of electricity. The scheme hopes to create the UK’s first deep geothermal power station and ignite a renewed interest in the technology’s wider potential – which is expected to provide substantial jobs in the area, increase Gross Value Added (GVA), provide carbon reductions, and potentially help to eradicate fuel poverty in Cornwall.

Cornwall remains keen to develop its low-carbon economy, and has articulated a place-based approach called New Frontiers that will build on its existing devolution deal, look at post-Brexit opportunities, and develop its key sectors through the industrial strategy.

 

Enjoying PSE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Government backs Northamptonshire unitary authorities with one-year delay and separate children’s services trust

15/05/2019Government backs Northamptonshire unitary authorities with one-year delay and separate children’s services trust

The government has formally approved the formation of two new unitary councils in Northamptonshire in 2021, a year later than first planned, also... more >
Introduce ‘smart bins’ and hand out tax cuts to drive up recycling, urges think tank

13/05/2019Introduce ‘smart bins’ and hand out tax cuts to drive up recycling, urges think tank

Local authorities should use a new generation of “smart bins” and council tax cuts to drive up household recycling rates, a think tan... more >
Councils to be placed under legal duty to house victims of domestic abuse

13/05/2019Councils to be placed under legal duty to house victims of domestic abuse

Councils are to be given a legal duty to provide “safe houses” for victims of domestic abuse and their children, under new plans anno... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >

the raven's daily blog

Empower your reader, choose print

07/05/2019Empower your reader, choose print

We are on a digital rollercoaster, swirling and twirling through a variety of different online advertising platforms – have we forgotten about traditional marketing platforms such as print? The UK is currently the global leader in advertising, generating £6 for every £1 spent on advertising to the economy. This year, UK ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Cities as places of opportunity

29/04/2019Cities as places of opportunity

Andrew Carter, chief executive of Centre for Cities, asks: if cities are places of opportunity for the low skilled, why are so many struggling? ... more >
Shaping healthy places with district councils

29/04/2019Shaping healthy places with district councils

District councils are achieving excellent outcomes by shifting health solutions from clinical settings to community ones. They have a significant... more >
The road more taken: delivering future connectivity and mobility

29/04/2019The road more taken: delivering future connectivity and mobility

Localis chief executive Jonathan Werran outlines the challenges to delivering future connectivity and mobility, and asks what policy shifts to ho... more >
The state of the Spring Statement

29/04/2019The state of the Spring Statement

Ben Zaranko, research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), analyses this year’s Spring Statement and looks ahead to the Spe... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News