David Beard, Head of Projects introduced the report, which had been circulated in advance of the meeting, and presented progress on the plans to decarbonise the Council’s waste and achieve Net Zero by 2032 or sooner. The report was accompanied by a presentation which detailed the strategic approach around corporate property and investment in a sustainable future.
Particular emphasis was given on how associated carbon emissions needed to be reduced and residual energy be offset by appropriate measures, including generating energy from renewables. An example of this was solar farms and a feasibility review of 15 sites for potential development as solar farms had been undertaken. A site at Williamthorpe offered the first potential development opportunity and a bid for £3.75m of capital funding had been submitted. A report would be submitted for Council consideration and potential approval.
A number of questions were asked by Committee members around asset disposal, efficiency and timescales, with a particular request to see more ambition in the targets for the reduction of emissions.
1. Endorse the proposals outlined in the report;
2. Support the proposed development of a solar farm to offset residual energy use, subject to approval of the proposed business case;
3. Support the proposal to develop a system for active energy management; and
4. To show more ambitious targets for carbon emissions in future progress reports.