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									A Sustainable Energy Agency for Cumbria:

              The Business Case




A study for the Lake District National Park Authority




                  Rebecca Willis
                  December 2008



             www.rebeccawillis.co.uk

                                                        1
                            About this work
During discussions at the Cumbria Renewables Panel (at its first meeting, in
September 2008), and at the Low-Carbon Lake District conference in June
2008, the idea was put forward for a Cumbrian „Centre of Excellence‟ or
Agency to promote local sustainable energy projects.

This report takes that idea a stage further. Based on research into similar
organisations elsewhere in the UK, and discussions with a wide range of
stakeholders in Cumbria (see Annexes 1 and 2), the paper sets out a
„business case‟ for an Agency.

Further work is needed to develop a more detailed business plan, in
collaboration with related organisations that already provide advice and
support in the County.

Comments and thoughts on this proposal would be welcome and should be
submitted in the first instance to Rebecca Willis at becky.willis@zen.co.uk.




                                                                               2
                                  Contents

1. Introduction: Towards a low-carbon economy                    4

2. Current levels of support for sustainable energy in Cumbria   6

      Strengths and weaknesses of this structure

3. Sustainable energy opportunities                              8

      Pulling national and regional resources into Cumbria
      Growing awareness of climate change
      Cross-sectoral working
      Making more of Cumbria‟s assets
      Proactive planning and building control
      Strategic projects
      Link to large-scale renewables developments
      Building greater awareness and action

4. The role of an Energy Agency                                  11

      Examples from elsewhere

5. A possible structure for a Cumbria Energy Agency              15

6. An Energy Agency for Cumbria: Stakeholder views               17

7. Next steps                                                    16

Annex 1: Organisations and people consulted                      19

Annex 2: Some other energy agencies and similar organisations    20




                                                                     3
1. Introduction: towards a low-carbon economy
To play its part in halting dangerous climate change, the UK needs to reduce
emissions of carbon and other greenhouse gases by 80 per cent over the next
forty years. The Climate Change Act, recently passed by Parliament, has set
binding „carbon budgets‟ for the UK as a whole, with around a 30 per cent
reduction by 2020.

This means that each area of the UK will need to achieve substantial carbon
cuts. As an interim measure, Cumbria Strategic Partnership has signed up to
a target to reduce emissions per capita by 11.5 per cent by 2010/2011, with
local action accounting for 3.75 per cent.1 Over the longer term, further
savings will be needed.

Tackling climate change can bring substantial benefits to the local economy,
as a recent study for Cumbria Vision showed.2 With the right support and
encouragement, the county as a whole could benefit from moves to cut
carbon. The study estimates that there is potential for around 1500 new jobs
in the sustainable energy and tourism sectors, in areas such as biomass and
biogas supply chains, and small-scale energy installations.

A clear framework is now in place for tackling climate change in Cumbria:
    A Climate Change Strategy for Cumbria is currently being agreed by
       the Cumbria Strategic Partnership (CSP). This commits all members of
       the CSP (including local authorities and public, private and voluntary
       sector organisations) to take action to reduce emissions.3 It is linked to
       the NorthWest Climate Action Plan.
    A delivery plan has been drawn up, to show how the County can
       achieve 3.75 per cent emissions cuts over the next three years.4
    The twenty-year Cumbria Economic Strategy, drawn up by Cumbria
       Vision, includes a commitment to develop the energy and
       environmental technologies sector in the County. Cumbria Vision has
       established the Cumbria Renewables Panel, to provide specialist
       advice on developing the renewables sector.
    The Lake District National Park Authority has pledged to play a
       leadership role on climate change, and held the Low-Carbon Lake
       District conference in June 2008 to chart a way forward. The idea for a

1
  Cumbria Strategic Partnership (CSP) has signed up to the Local Area Agreement indicator NI 186 –
reduction in per capita CO2 emissions per annum, with a target of 11.5% savings by 2010/11 across
the whole of Cumbria, excluding large industry, motorways and commercial scale. This equates to
savings of 650,000 tonnes CO2 per year. Of this, national initiatives are assumed to contribute 7.75%,
leaving 3.75% to be achieved by local actions, or the local component of national programmes. This
equates to around 210,000 tonnes CO2 per year.
2
  The economic implications of climate change legislation for Cumbria, a study by Quantum and
Regeneris for Cumbria Vision, May 2008
3
  http://www.cumbriastrategicpartnership.org.uk/climate_change/climatechange.asp
4
  Study by Quantum consulting for the Cumbrian Environment and Heritage Thematic Partnership,
Delivery Plan for Climate Change Indicator NI 186, September 2008


                                                                                                         4
       „centre of excellence‟ or sustainable energy agency was put forward at
       the conference.

Looking to the longer term
In the short term, cost-effective carbon reductions can be achieved through
promoting energy efficiency in homes, offices and businesses. The Delivery
Plan mentioned above recommends a redoubling of efforts to promote energy
efficiency. Over the medium to long term, though, further carbon savings
could be achieved through a shift to „distributed energy‟, or local energy
systems, defined by the government as “the local supply of electricity and
heat which is generated on or near the site where it is used”. Examples
include community heating schemes for social housing; biomass boilers for
properties not connected to the mains gas grid; solar, micro-hydro and small-
scale wind power.

 The government‟s Renewable Energy Strategy states that “community
distributed energy has the potential to make a significant contribution to
renewable energy and carbon reduction targets”, and sets out the benefits of
distributed energy:
     People shift from being passive consumers of energy to becoming
        producers, making an active contribution to energy and climate goals;
     Alongside energy efficiency, distributed energy has a crucial part to
        play in reducing the carbon impact of the built environment;
     Technologies at household scale can be installed and connected
        relatively quickly;
     Distributed energy (particularly heat) can help tackle fuel poverty,
        through reducing fuel bills;
     Distributed energy can increase overall system efficiency, as the loses
        that occur in transportation are reduced;
     Distributed energy brings diversity to the energy mix, helping promote
        energy security and local resilience.

Cumbria has an abundance of natural resources that could be used to
generate renewable electricity and heat, from wind, sun, water and wood.
Despite this potential, there are very few distributed energy developments in
the county (although there are a significant number of developments of large-
scale wind power, onshore and offshore). This is because of the considerable
hurdles involved in establishing distributed energy systems. There is a need
to source good technical advice; finance upfront costs for equipment and
installation; overcome legal hurdles such as planning and licensing; and (in
the case of electricity) negotiate with electricity suppliers and distributors to
access the grid.

This paper therefore puts forward the case for a ‘sustainable energy
agency’ to maximise these long-term opportunities, and put Cumbria on
a path toward a low-carbon economy.


                                                                                5
2. Current levels of support for sustainable energy in
Cumbria
There are sources of advice and information available to businesses,
communities and the public sector in Cumbria. The diagram below sets out
the main organisations involved.


                   Support for climate change action in Cumbria

                  Business                         Community                 Public sector
                                           Cumbria renewables panel (advisory)
                   Cumbria Woodlands (biomass only, limited scope)

     Cumbria       CBEN                             CAfS                      Cumbria Strategic
                                                                              Partnership (advisory)
                   CGBF (voluntary only)            Energy Efficiency
                                                    Advice Centre
                    Energy Coast
                    Industries for the future       Individual groups Eg
                    (West Cumbria only)             Transition South Lakes
                                                    and Esthwaite
                                                    Green Link(voluntary
                                                    only)


                   Envirolink NW

     NW region     EA technology
                   innovation centre

                   NW biomass project



      National     Carbon Trust / Energy            Energy Saving Trust      Carbon Trust / Energy
                   Saving Trust                                              Saving Trust




Cumbria-based organisations:
   The Cumbria Renewables Panel, and the Cumbria Strategic
     Partnership, are strategic bodies that steer the county‟s response to
     climate change and sustainable energy.
   The Energy Coast Masterplan is a regeneration initiative for the West
     Coast, and includes the „energies for the future‟ project, looking at
     opportunities for renewable and sustainable energy (particularly skills
     development and manufacturing)
   Cumbria Woodlands employs a member of staff to promote biomass
     energy (working on both demand and supply).



                                                                                           6
      Cumbria Business and Environment Network (CBEN) helps
       businesses, particularly SMEs, take action on the environment.
      Cumbria Green Business Forum (CGBF) is a grouping of businesses
       that help each other improve their performance and lobby for change.
      Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) runs the popular Green Build
       Fortnight and helps communities take action on climate change.
      The Energy Efficiency Advice Centre (EEAC) in Carlisle provides
       householders and others with basic energy advice.
      A raft of community groups, including new Transition initiatives, helps
       communities to act together.

Northwest based organisations:
    Envirolink Northwest aids the development and growth of the energy
      and environmental technologies and services sector in the Northwest
      of England. A new low-carbon market development programme
      operated by Envirolink will have staff in each sub-region.
    EA technology‟s Energy Innovation Centre in Cheshire helps start-up
      companies in the energy sector.
    The NorthWest Biomass Project helps large energy users investigate
      biomass options.

National organisations:
    The Carbon Trust helps businesses and the public sector to cut carbon
      emissions.
    The Energy Saving Trust provides advice to householders, business
      and communities, in part through its local centres.

Strengths and weaknesses of this structure

This analysis shows that there is advice available, particularly on energy
efficiency, to businesses, householders and communities, through CBEN, the
EEAC and CAfS, as well as a number of voluntary groups (CGBF and
community groups). All these groups, however, are under-resourced and
cannot meet the demand for their services.

The business sector is relatively strongly supported, given the additional
Energy Coast Industries for the Future Project, and the work of CBEN and
Envirolink. There is more specialist support for biomass than other
technologies, though again, resources are limited.

A clear weakness is the lack of a „champion‟ providing leadership and
strategic oversight. The new Cumbria Renewables Panel may assume this
role, but it is currently just an advisory body.

While advice is available to those who ask, there are fewer attempts at
proactive project development. The advice and support services are „wide and


                                                                                 7
shallow‟, focusing on basic advice to many, rather than „narrow and deep‟ – a
small number of more ambitious projects. This basic advice is absolutely
essential, yet many regions combine the basic advice with proactive
development of flagship projects as well.

Another striking finding is that there is little cross-sector working, between
business, community and public sector organisations. The Renewables Panel
convenes these sectors, but of all the advice providers, only Cumbria
Woodlands deals with all three sectors.

There is currently little organised support for the public sector, beyond the
framework set by the Strategic Partnership, though several local authorities
are working together on a joint Carbon Trust carbon management project.

3. Sustainable energy opportunities
The analysis of the current support structure shows that there are a range of
opportunities that are not currently being taken up.

Pulling national and regional resources into Cumbria

The new Climate Change Act, passed in November 2008, commits the UK to
working within a statutory „carbon budget‟ set by the Climate Change
Committee. The overall aim is an ambitious 80 per cent carbon reduction by
2050, with around 30 per cent by 2020. To meet these targets, a
comprehensive set of policies is needed. Some of these are already in place;
others are under development. All policies aim to encourage people,
businesses and local areas to take action, providing incentives for carbon
reduction. This means that there are considerable economic benefits for those
areas that organise to make the most of the opportunities available.

Examples of existing and forthcoming policies include:
    CERT (Carbon Emissions Reductions Target): This is an obligation on
     energy suppliers to help customers install energy efficiency measures
     (including some forms of distributed generation). Energy suppliers can
     meet their targets in any area nationally, and Cumbria is not currently
     getting high levels of CERT funding.5 From 2012 CERT will be replaced
     by a more ambitious policy which is likely to require energy suppliers to
     reduce absolute demand (rather than just increasing efficiency).
     Increasingly, energy suppliers need to look beyond simple measures
     like loft and cavity wall insulation to meet their targets, and are
     investigating distributed generation.




5
    see NI 186 action plan


                                                                                8
      Grants for distributed generation through the Low-Carbon Buildings
       Programme (though these may come to an end as feed-in tariffs are
       introduced, see below)
      Zero-carbon new buildings: A target has been set to make all new
       homes zero-carbon by 2012, and commercial buildings by 2016.
       Although there is as yet no clear definition of „zero-carbon‟, it is very
       likely to include distributed generation of heat and / or electricity.
      Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs): generators of renewable
       power gain ROCs which can be sold to energy suppliers to meet their
       obligation to source power from renewable energy. Reforms to the
       ROC system mean that some distributed generation, such as photo-
       voltaics (PV), are eligible for more ROCs.
      Feed-in tariffs: The government has committed to introducing „feed-in
       tariffs‟, meaning that those who generate their own power on-site will
       be able to sell their excess electricity to the grid at premium rates.

Cumbria is currently not as effective as it could be at accessing the benefits of
national schemes, policies and funding schemes. CERT funding tends to go
to big urban areas with higher housing density, where it is easier and cheaper
to undertake large insulation schemes. Pulling resources into Cumbria
requires an active relationship with energy companies. Success depends in
part on how proactive an area is in searching out opportunities. The
SouthWest has had more than its expected share of grants under the Low-
Carbon Buildings Programme, and contractors put this down to the success of
local energy agencies.

Growing awareness of climate change and willingness to respond

Another opportunity is the growing awareness of climate change among
individuals and businesses. Research for the Energy Saving Trust has shown
high levels of awareness of climate change, but little understanding of the
steps that can be taken to reduce carbon emissions. All of Cumbria‟s existing
support organisations, CAfS, CBEN, CGBF, the EEAC and commercial
consultants, report increasing levels of demand for their services.

Cross-sectoral working

At present, support services are generally sector-specific. CBEN provides
support for businesses, CAfS for communities, and so on. Cross-sectoral
working has proved to be highly effective, in Cornwall, for example, through
the Cornwall Sustainable Energy Partnership, which links across sectors. In
many cases, there will be opportunities for distributed generation which link
across sectors. A very simple example is where a local community
organisation (third sector) might want to work with a school (public sector) to
install energy efficiency and on-site generation, which provides an opportunity
for local contractors (private sector). In larger, more complicated schemes,



                                                                                   9
this is even more likely to be the case. Birmingham City‟s heat network (a
combined-heat-and-power facility linking a number of buildings in the city) was
established by the City Council, run by a private company, and provides heat
and power to public sector and private sector buildings. These examples
show that there is a real need to link different sectors and encourage co-
ordination and collaboration.

Make more of Cumbria’s assets

Cumbria has considerable potential renewable energy resource. This includes
hydro sites, potential for biomass through better management of woodland,
use of farmland and buildings for solar power, and opportunities for biogas
and anaerobic digestion on farms. Taking advantage of this resource requires
marshalling of different actors and sectors, as well as knowledge of the
technical and financial possibilities. This knowledge is often lacking at the
moment.

Proactive planning and building control

Increasingly, the planning system is being expected to encourage distributed
generation. Many local authorities now specify that a percentage of the
energy needs of new developments are generated on site (the so-called
„Merton Rule‟, named after the London borough where it began.) Good advice
early in the project cycle for new developments and significant refurbishments
can significantly increase the potential for sustainable energy solutions. For
example, does the new acute hospital proposed for West Cumbria incorporate
onsite energy generation and high energy efficiency standards? When a large
hotel in the Lake District first contacts planners about an extension and
significant refurbishment, are they alerted to possibilities for carbon (and cost)
saving? Sometimes, those responsible for the development will ask the right
questions of architects and engineering firms; often they will not, unless
prompted and offered the right advice.

Planners and building control officers need support and expertise, and / or the
ability to refer to a specialist organisation, to carry out this function.

Strategic projects

Much sustainable energy advice in Cumbria is reactive. Individual households
or businesses seek advice when they feel they need it, and generally make
improvements on an individual basis, too. However, the most efficient energy
systems are at district level (village, community, business park etc) rather
than at individual household or building level. Developing these systems is
potentially rewarding (in both economic and environmental terms) but
complex, and significant support is needed.




                                                                               10
Link to large-scale renewables developments

Developers of large-scale renewable power, particularly wind power, are keen
to exploit the resource available in Cumbria. This can lead to local opposition,
in part because of worries about impacts on landscape and countryside, but
also because it is perceived that there is little benefit to local people from the
scheme. Developers increasingly offer a „community contribution‟ as an
acknowledgement of the „price‟ that local communities pay. Although there are
guidelines about the levels of funding, and how they should be used, practice
varies widely. Some areas, such as Dumfries and Galloway, have worked to
channel these payments into local sustainable energy schemes, and projects
that provide long-term benefits to the community. There is potential for a more
proactive approach to be taken in Cumbria.

Build greater awareness and action

Distributed energy has been shown to result in greater awareness of, and
action on, climate change and wider environmental issues.6 The successful
programme of energy saving and generation measures on village halls in
Cumbria, a project run by CLAREN and CAfS, increased awareness of these
issues in each community. The value of distributed generation is greater than
the direct carbon saving alone, as it has this awareness-raising function.
Some energy agencies, like the Marches Energy Agency (see next section)
devote significant resources to awareness-raising. Their „light fantastic‟
roadshow is a Punch and Judy style show, featuring a „bash the bulb‟ game
and using lighthearted methods of raising awareness on climate change.

4. The role of an Energy Agency
To make the most of these opportunities, Cumbria should consider
establishing a „sustainable energy agency‟. Its overall aim could be:

To work with the business, public and voluntary sectors, to reduce carbon
emissions, improve economic prosperity and contribute to a better quality of
life.

An Agency could be a charity or non-profit company, working in partnership
with the existing organisations listed above. It would be important to make
clear from the outset that the Agency would not replicate the work of existing
organisations, particularly those that provide advice (EEAC, CBEN, CGBF,
CAfS etc) but work collaboratively with them to improve the support available
and reach out to new areas.



6
 see, for example, Seeing the Light: The impact of microgeneration on the way we use energy,
Sustainable Development Commission, October 2006


                                                                                               11
The Agency would act as a champion, working at a strategic level to improve
the opportunities for sustainable energy in the County. Such an organisation
would help to capitalise on the opportunities listed in the section above.
Specifically, it would:
    Ensure that Cumbria makes the most of its considerable renewable
       energy resources, in a way that fits the character and landscape of the
       area;
    Pull national and regional resources into the County, to ensure that it
       benefits from the policy incentives and funding opportunities now
       available;
    Provide expert advice and guidance on the technical, legal and
       financial issues involved in distributed energy projects;
    Develop innovative financing options for sustainable energy projects,
       including community ownership models and energy service companies
       (ESCos);
    Work with planners and building control in local authorities to
       encourage distributed generation and low-carbon solutions in the built
       environment;
    Develop the renewable and sustainable energy supply chain, to create
       local jobs, for example by working with training providers on skills
       development;
    Develop community energy offerings linked to large scale renewables
       (wind & tidal power);
    Help to tackle fuel poverty, through working with local authorities and
       energy suppliers to target people most in need;
    Build greater awareness and action on climate change.

More detail on the possible structure and function of an energy agency follows
below. But first, a few examples of successful Agencies elsewhere in the UK
are listed.

Examples from elsewhere

The proposal for an Energy Agency for Cumbria is informed by examples from
elsewhere in the UK. These agencies vary greatly in size and role. Although
all Agencies work slightly differently, in response to local circumstances, some
common lessons emerge. While some Agencies just work on either the
demand side (energy efficiency) or energy supply (renewables and distributed
generation), most do both. This is because of a growing realisation that, at
local level, energy supply and demand should be looked at together. There is
no point promoting renewables without improving energy efficiency as well.
Some Agencies provide advice to individual households and businesses, but
others concentrate on larger projects, working with a whole village, or
business cluster, for example.




                                                                             12
Some agencies, are also working to develop local supply chains for
sustainable energy, by providing information and training for installers, for
example. Most of the Agencies are experiencing a very high demand for their
services, and are raising significant funds to help meet this demand, so are
growing rapidly. The Marches Energy Agency, for example, doubled its staff
and turnover in a year.

Most Agencies are charities and/or not-for-profit companies. This allows them
to seek funds from, for example, local authorities, development agencies, the
Big Lottery Fund, energy companies and charitable trusts.

These are some examples of successful Energy Agencies and similar
organisations:

Marches Energy Agency in the West Midlands operates at local, regional
and European levels to deliver a portfolio of innovative and effective projects
contributing to a lower carbon society and ensuring communities,
organisations, businesses and households embrace sustainable energy
opportunities. It has five teams, as follows:
    Project Carbon: delivering sustainable energy advice and practical
       action, supported by a local carbon offsetting service
    Low Carbon Communities: engaging communities of place and their
       sectors in climate change and its opportunities
    Carbon Forum: education, information and inspiration on climate
       change or „decarbonisation inspiration‟
    RE:think Energy: supporting the implementation of renewable energy
       technologies in small and medium businesses
    Action Heat: understanding fuel poverty and alleviating households
       through energy efficiency.
Funded by a wide range of sources, including the RDA, local authorities, the
EU and individual energy companies, it has a staff of 20 and a turnover of
over £1 million.

Renewable Energy 4 Devon (RE4D) aims to maximise the opportunities for
local economic benefits and business growth amongst renewable energy
companies by increasing the demand for and deployment of smaller scale
renewable energy installations while assisting SMEs and communities to reduce
their energy costs. RE4D offers advice and support from initial enquiry to
installation, including: renewable energy technology options, sources of funding
and planning issues, offering a free and independent service to businesses,
households, communities, schools and the public sector.

RE4D also works on the supply side, increasing capacity to deliver in increased
demand. They have worked with 37 Devon-based installers, providing advice and
grants. 55 new jobs have been created within the sector since April 2006, and the
turnover of Devon‟s renewable energy sector has increased from £7 million to
£11 million.


                                                                               13
RE4D is funded by Devon County Council, Devon Renaissance, European Union
ERDF, Mid Devon District Council and others.

The Manchester Climate Change Agency is currently under development. It
is a project of AGMA (the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities) and
aims to work through a partnership between all ten AGMA local authorities.
Work in five areas is proposed: skills and training; energy planning and
development of energy infrastructure; promoting competitiveness through
iconic projects and improved efficiency; developing tailored business support
strategies; and developing a consistent approach to planning around
renewables.

The Cornwall Sustainable Energy Partnership (CSEP) was created in 2001
as a partnership between public, private and voluntary sector players in Cornwall,
to raise the profile of sustainable energy. Cornwall is at the end of the line for
electricity and heat supply; only 50% of the County is on the gas network. There
is a high percentage of fuel poor, and increasing worries about climate change
and its effects, including coastal erosion and flooding.

CSEP sits half way between top-down strategy and community level delivery.
CSEP‟s aims include establishing local energy service companies (ESCOs),
integration of climate change issues into all local policies, a programme on
energy efficiency and fuel poverty, and retrofitting renewables into buildings.

An example of their work is the Home Health project, a multi-agency approach to
improving household energy efficiency in deprived and isolated communities.
Working with health authorities, doctors‟ surgeries, social workers, and even
shops, scheme uptake was 67% compared to 1% for a mailshot.

As a result of the Partnership‟s work, in 2005 Cornwall‟s Local Authorities
achieved Beacon Council Status for Sustainable Energy.

A fuller list of other Energy Agencies, with details of organisational structure,
turnover and activities, is available.

5. A possible structure for a Cumbria Energy Agency
The analysis set out above suggests an Energy Agency that takes a strategic
role, acting as a champion for sustainable energy and guiding action across
the County, to make the most of the opportunities listed in section 3. A
possible structure is set out below. It should be stressed that this is an initial
suggestion, and further work, and engagement with key stakeholders, needs
to be done to determine the best way forward for Cumbria.




                                                                                  14
In this model, the Agency is closely allied with existing support organisations,
through its governance structure and advisory group. It has an overall role in
horizon-scanning, strategy and co-ordination – the „champion‟ role. Beneath
that, its core function is to provide support and advice for sustainable energy
projects, which combine distributed energy and energy efficiency. Most
enquiries, particularly from individual householders and businesses, would be
referred to partner organisations CBEN, CGBF, EEAC and so on. However
the organisation would work on a small number of strategic sustainable
energy „flagship‟ installations, offering detailed advice and support on
technical, legal and financial issues. (As a guide, the Renewable Energy 4
Devon project allowed five days of advice per installation, for SMEs).

The Agency could also undertake particular projects: time-limited initiatives,
which could be funded separately, and which would be designed to address
particular opportunities or systemic problems. This follows the model of
Marches Energy Agency and the Cornwall Sustainable Energy Partnership.
For example:
    It could work with planners to build capability, allowing them to discuss
       sustainable energy options with developers at an early stage, before
       the formal planning application.


                                                                              15
      It could work with the local Distribution Network Operator (DNO) and
       others to overcome problems of grid connection for small-scale
       electricity generation.
      It could facilitate training for local installers, to overcome the skills
       shortage in sustainable energy (possibly in collaboration with the
       University of Cumbria and other HE and FE providers).
      It could work with local companies (Turbine Services, Sundog, Gilkes)
       and the agricultural sector, to examine the potential for on-farm
       renewable and sustainable energy (biomass, biogas, use of agricultural
       land and buildings for solar and wind power).
      It could investigate the possibility of a community-owned ESCO for
       Cumbria, which would own and manage local projects, with profits
       used for further projects.
      It could support public sector carbon managers, through advice,
       training and events.
      It could work with health providers to tackle the health and
       environmental consequences of badly-heated, damp housing.

The model set out here is only one possible structure for the Agency. More
detailed work is needed to set out how the organisation could be established,
and what resourcing it would need.




                                                                             16
6. An Energy Agency for Cumbria: views from
stakeholders
Outline plans for an Energy Agency have been discussed with a wide range of
stakeholders across Cumbria, the NorthWest and further afield. These views
have been incorporated into the proposal above. A summary of views is set
out here; more detailed feedback is available.

There was strong support for the concept of an agency. Comments received
include:

"It‟s addressing an identified need that will take advantage of but not duplicate
the cross regional schemes. It should add focus and coordination for Cumbria
working as an enabler in bringing together community scale schemes.”
Geoff Crossley, Business Link NW

"There‟s a need for an agency because many development projects are
specified without renewable energy”
John Knox, West Lakes Renaissance

“It would be a way of „energising Cumbria‟, and getting a more strategic look
at what projects should be supported.”
Phil Davies, Cumbria County Council

“What we‟ve learned is that a whole county approach does work”
Tim German, Cornwall Sustainable Energy Partnership

“It‟s imperative to get something like this going”
Neville Elstone, Cumbria Woodlands

“Our experience is that renewable energy projects tend to be clustered in
areas where there is either institutional or individual expertise, and
enthusiasm to inspire and initiate projects and then drive them forward –
providing technical and strategic knowledge on appropriate technologies and
funding sources. Although Cumbria is fortunate to have some fantastically
energetic, motivated and well-informed ambassadors for sustainability, they
have not perhaps had the strategic positioning or resources to enable
Cumbria to exploit the resources and opportunities that are available as well
as some other areas.”
Ali Ross, Sundog Energy

“Brilliant idea as long as we integrate rather than duplicate and look at it from
a big enough perspective to be able to really do something not just tickle
round the edges.”
Suzanne Burgess, Energy Saving Trust Advice Centre



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"If it got its remit just right I could get quite excited about this organisation. But
it would have to be just right.”
Mike Berners-Lee, Small World Consulting

Many stakeholders also raised some concerns about how the Agency would
operate in practice. These concerns included:

      A worry that there might be too much of a focus on micro-generation,
       rather than medium or large scale renewables, which are often more
       cost-effective and save more carbon: “The good could drive out the
       best: if micro-generation is supported with public money, the larger
       community schemes may not happen.”
      Concerns that it would be too linked to the public sector: “An agency
       could become public sector culture dominated and not keep up with the
       pace of change in this field”
      Many stressed the importance, and cost-effectiveness, of energy
       efficiency, and worried that money might be diverted into more high-
       profile renewables schemes when the energy efficiency basics were
       more important.
      There was concern about duplication with existing organisations, such
       as CBEN, the Energy Saving Trust Advice Centre and Cumbria Action
       for Sustainability. Many stressed that roles and responsibilities would
       have to be very carefully defined, to prevent overlap and encourage
       partnership working.
      Some stressed that distributed energy projects, particularly community-
       based ones, could soak up a lot of support and advice, with no
       guarantee of outcomes. The Agency‟s resources would need to be
       carefully managed.

These concerns need to be considered carefully if the idea for an Energy
Agency is further developed.


7. Next steps
Given the clear need identified for an Energy Agency, and the high levels of
support that the concept has received, the idea should be taken to the next
stage. A detailed business plan should be developed, setting out a potential
organizational structure, with resource and staffing requirements. This could
be used as the basis for funding applications.




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Annex 1: Organisations and people consulted
Sarah Robson        University of Cumbria
David Green         University of Cumbria
Jenny Rogers        University of Cumbria
Jack Ellerby        Friends of the Lake District
Richard Leafe       Lake District National Park Authority
Bob Cartwright      Lake District National Park Authority
Vicky Darrall       Lake District National Park Authority
Sonny Khan          SLACC
Andrew Temple Cox   NB21C
Marna McMillin      Energy 4 All
Phil Davies         Cumbria County Council
Jenny Wain          Cumbria County Council
Simon Sjenitzer     Cumbria Vision
Helen Seagrave      NWDA
Neville Elstone     Cumbria Woodlands
Elizabeth Bruce     Elizabeth Bruce Associates
Richard Suddaby     CAfS
Bob Clarke          CREA
Michael Hamer       CBEN
John Barwise        CGBF
Mike Berners-Lee    CGBF / Small World Consulting
Geoff Crossley      BusinessLink NW
John Knox           West Lakes Renaissance
Melanie Sealey      Renewable Energy 4 Devon
Tim German          Cornwall Sustainable Energy Partnership
Richard Davies      Marches Energy Agency
Catrin Mabey        Severn Wye Energy Agency
Bob McIlwraith      AliEnergy
Aidan Morris        EcoFirst
Keith Gillanders    Regen SW
Steve Connor        Creative Concern
Deb Muscat          Voluntary Action Cumbria




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Annex 2: some other energy agencies and similar
organisations in the UK
     Marches Energy Agency
     Cornwall Sustainable Energy Partnership
     North York Moors community Renewable Energy Project
     ALIEnergy Argyll, Lomond and the Trossachs energy agency
     Westcountry Energy Action
     Thames Valley Energy
     RE4D Renewable Energy 4 Devon
     Severn Wye Energy Agency
     Leicester Energy Agency
     Newark and Sherwood Energy Agency
     Ovesco - Ouse Valley Energy Services Company
     SEA Renue, now named Carbon Descent
     Greater Manchester Climate Change Agency
     Lancashire Locals
     Community Energy Scotland
     East Midlands Renewable Energy Company
     Future Energy Yorkshire
     Nottingham Energy Partnership




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