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A STUDY into sustainable energy, financed by the Heart of Eden Development Trust has highlighted how natural green power sources in the area could help reduce fuel costs for residents and reduce their carbon footprint. Local experts Cumbria Energy Associates were commissioned to carry out the research in Appleby and the surrounding parishes, and they produced a unique report on ways the rural community can reduce reliance on fossil fuel and use renewable resources - such as solar, water and underground heat - from the area to power homes and businesses.
The report is first of its kind to review existing and potential renewable installations
in the Heart of Eden Development Trust area in east Cumbria. The Heart of Eden
Development Trust is core funded by the local parish councils, Eden District Council
Cumbria County Council and the Rural Development Programme England
Following face to face meetings with the Chairs of all 10 Parish Councils that
subscribe to the Trust’s work, Richard Greenwood and Simon Sjenitzer of Cumbria
Energy Associates investigated a number of ways energy could be produced from
resources in individual parishes.
Following the study Cumbria Energy Associates have produce the
report, “Renewable Energy Potential at a Parish Level”, looking at the opportunities
to harnessing hydro power on the River Eden at Temple Sowerby and Appleby, as
well as the potential for underground heat pumps, water and solar power at Hilton,
Murton, and Milburn. The report also highlights more suitable sites for solar panels in
Long Marton as well as the suitability for sites in Dufton, Bolton, Bandleyside, Colby.
And in Asby the report suggests an underground heat pump.
Richard said: “The Heart of Eden Area is clearly too dependant on oil and electricity
for its heating, and the local rural communities are falling into energy poverty.
“Insufficient activity is evident, especially in the outlying villages, to develop
cheaper, sustainable alternatives and especially to take advantage of the significant
government incentives and that still exist.”
Recommendations in the report include asking the Heart of Eden Board to officially
request that Eden District Council and Parish Councils should ensure that every new
planning permission granted takes full advantage of renewable options to protect
residents from future rises in energy costs.
Simon added: “Another recommendation in our report is that Eden District Council
and the Heart of Eden Development Trust commission a short and clear information
sheet or brochure to distribute to every household, giving crystal clear examples of all
renewable alternatives and their cost / benefits. This could possibly be coupled with a
presentation, training, and/or information at Eden District Council meeting and Parish
meetings to raise awareness.”
The report recommends the Heart of Eden Development Trust and Parish Councils
could be more aware of renewable options and raising funding from within each
community for installations of solar panels on private houses, community buildings
and also funding installation on other buildings purely as an investment where
income is derived from the F.I.T payments. Cumbria Energy Associates also
suggests a review of the use of solar panels on school roofs.
Simon added: “Solar pv for example should be sited on property which can better use
the free electricity during the day and present a better investment opportunity. Also,
subsequently, investigate the use of heated school premises for wider community
Situated within a rural area, the report also highlights the potential for an Anaerobic
Digester in a number of locations which could take organic waste products to
Richard added: “We recommend a review of the potential for Anaerobic Digestion.
Firstly consider the potential at Kirkby Thore and then review the option to also use
the extra capacity at Murton, Hilton and Dufton to determine if it is better for a single
larger unit or two smaller ones.”
A copy of the report is available on the Heart of Eden Development Trust’s website at