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Update on Renewable Energy

Dorset CPRE is fully supportive of renewable energy development in Dorset but not at any price.

Rooftop panels versus solar farms
In the January 2023 online edition of The Blackmore Magazine, Rupert Hardy, Chair of North Dorset CPRE, has a four page article taking a long look into the case for solar panels on roofs or in fields.

Dorset CPRE Policy on Renewable Energy

  1. Dorset CPRE is fully supportive of renewable energy development in Dorset but not at any price. It is opposed to proposals that would do anything other than minimal harm to Dorset’s exceptional and highly valued landscape, heritage, agricultural and amenity assets.
  2. It is particularly opposed to industrial scale wind turbines and ground-mounted solar photovoltaic installations that can be damaging to Dorset’s prevalent small–scale landscapes.
  3. It supports the deployment of solar photovoltaic panels on domestic, commercial, public and industrial roofs, including those that can be built over car parks.
  4. It favours smaller scale ground-mounted solar photovoltaic installations with a maximum capacity of 5 MW (20,000 panels) that can be well-screened from surrounding view points.
  5. It does not object to small-scale wind turbines close to buildings.
  6. It hopes that the Council will be successful in promoting community-owned renewable energy installations of all kinds and wishes to provide support in any way it can through its network of members across the Council area.
Report on renewable energy generation in Dorset
Dorset Council Local Plan
We submitted a report regarding Renewable Energy issues (see copy below under downloads).  
Installations of National Significance
Please see below link to latest report on 'Installations of National Significance & the Setting of Local Renewable Energy Targets' dated 25th May 2022. This report concludes that it would be appropriate for Dorset Council to reintroduce the 2011 policy whereby each UK local authority was able to reduce its 2020 renewable energy target from 15% (the UK target) to 7.5%. This was decided when it was realised that if the target were to be realised the damage done to Dorset's rural assets, particularly its landscape, would be unacceptable.
Role of Roof-Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations in 2050 Electricity Generation
A separate report looks at the 'Role of Roof-Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations in 2050 Electricity Generation'. This report explores the extent to which roof-mounted installations might be able to contribute to the achievement of 2050 targets for the deployment of solar photovoltaics. The Dynamic Dispatch Team at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy suggests that, for the UK as a whole, the maximum contribution expected from solar photovoltaics is a capacity of 120 GW generating an annual 117.6 TWh, 17.4% of 676.8 TWh, the upper bound of expected total electricity demand.
Summaries of both reports, produced by David Peacock, are also available to download, see link below.
Battery Storage
The Government is encouraging the development of backup generation and battery storage in the countryside as means of increasing electricity supply. In 2018 CPRE Wiltshire produced a booklet exploring the issues raised by planning applications to implement these processes. 

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