Developing a strategy for Renewable Energy: Solar

What is this all about?

An important part of climate change mitigation involves achieving 100% renewable energy across all sectors. The Council is therefore seeking to significantly increase the amount of renewable energy generated in South Gloucestershire and our new Local Plan will play an important role in doing so.

We are starting to think about how we can develop a positive strategy for renewable energy generation in South Gloucestershire. An important part of doing this will involve directing development of standalone wind and solar renewable energy installations to specific areas and in some cases safeguarding land so that renewable energy can be generated in the future.

Through this consultation, we want to start sharing and discussing options around where these areas might be located. These areas have been informed by our technical evidence the Renewable Energy Resource Assessment Study (RERAS). 

The RERAS contains some general principles, or ‘building blocks’, which we think are an important starting point for developing a positive strategy for renewable energy generation in South Gloucestershire. One of the key principles is that a mix of onshore wind and solar technology will be required to meet our needs for renewable energy.

Importantly, our evidence also shows that opportunities to deliver solar energy in South Gloucestershire are widespread and, therefore, our challenge is around how we should make decisions about which areas we should direct this type of development towards (or away from).

With this in mind, through preparing the RERAS, areas covered by specific constraints were removed from the potential solar resource. Subsequently, through preparing our Local Plan we have also proposed the removal of areas covered by further constraints and you can comment on this approach through our Phase 2 consultation.

The remaining resource area for solar, shown on the map below, may be refined further through the Local Plan process and we will also need to consider how these areas align with other Local Plan priorities, issues relating to landscape sensitivity, the availability of connections to the national grid and the potential impact of competing or complementary land uses. For example, we might need to consider how an emerging strategy for solar development could interact positively with the emerging GI network, as research shows that solar PV development can result in enhanced biodiversity.

We will, through future stages of the Local Plan, also seek to develop a positive, robust, criteria-based policy approach to enable the Council to take account of other relevant issues and considerations on a case by case basis as proposals come forward.

What does the map show?

The map shows the remaining potential solar resource after the area covered by the constraints identified through the RERAS and those detailed in the Local Plan have been removed.


How do I get started?

Click on the map below to get started.

The map view can also be changed by clicking on the ‘Change map view’ button.

You can read more about the issue or renewable energy, our strategy and safeguarding land in our Phase 2 Local Plan consultation document here.

Further information can be found in the RERAS Report (under Renewable and low carbon energy).