The UK’s largest private land owner, with over 250,000 hectares, is to invest £30m in renewable energy projects. The National Trust’s projects are an attempt to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and to try and source 50% of their energy through the projects. The trust also hopes to save up to £4m a year on their energy costs. They also plan to sell some of the project’s generated electricity to the grid in order to gain income.
The projects follow the successful £3.5m pilot they launched with Good Energy in 2013, where the company completed five renewable energy projects in properties in the National Trust’s care.
The trust are investing in over 40 further projects, some of these include:
- a 200kW lake source heating project on the Blickling Estate in Norfolk. This will removed two oil tanks and 25,572 litres a year of oil consumption with an estimated saving of 68 tonnes of CO2 per year;
- two biomass boilers at Upton House in Warwickshire to heat the mansion and other areas, saving an estimated 55 tonnes of CO2 per year; and
- a 250kW hydro scheme at Haveswater in Cumbria where there is a legacy of hydropower from historic corn mills and water wheels – this project will provide an income stream to support conservation work.
Although the trust has opposed individual wind farms on visual grounds in the past it says it believes strongly in renewable energy and laid out a plan in 2010 to cut its fossil fuel use in half to tackle global warming.
National Trust’s rural enterprises director, Patrick Begg, has said “In setting out our 10 year plan we recognise we’ll have to play our part in helping to mitigate climate change. A key part of that is to reduce our reliance on oil and look for greener energy solutions. We have a responsibility to look after the special places in our care, requiring us to make long-term decisions that will protect them for future generations. The success we’ve seen in decommissioning oil tanks, lowering our energy costs and reducing carbon emissions has shown us that renewables play a vital part in us reaching our 2020 energy targets and in delivering more for our core conservation mission.”
Two-thirds of the 40 projects will also run on biomass, to take advantage of the vast areas of National Trust woodland. Others will depend on solar, heat pumps and hydro.
For more information, help or advice please contact Andrew Davison on 0191 211 7950.