Future Energy Landscapes

An initiative from the Centre for Sustainable Energy

This community consultation method helps local planning authorities and civic society accelerate renewable energy deployment. We know we need to increase renewable energy capacity (to about four times its current level) to address the climate crisis. But how can we do this while maintaining public support? We also know that public support for renewable energy is at an all-time high, yet why does this support often disappear the moment a planning application is submitted?

Research suggests the following reasons:

  • Communities feel decisions are being taken remotely from them, and they are not sufficiently involved in the trade-offs between the different options available.
  • People’s emotional attachment to their place and feelings for their local landscape are not taken into account in policy formulation.
  • Communities don’t benefit enough from hosting renewable energy projects within their area.
  • The UK planning system is a largely adversarial process. For most people and communities, the point at which they become involved in any meaningful sense is when a planning application is submitted and they feel under threat.

Community for Sustainable Energy Future Energy Landscapes project is a bottom-up approach to community engagement. The approach is effective in supporting local planning authorities to develop ambitious planning policies for renewable deployment in their areas, while maintaining community support (CSE 2021).

Energise South Downs Future Energy Landscapes pilot project commences on 27th June, with the hope of rolling this programme out across communities in the South Downs and surrounding areas.

To find out more https://www.cse.org.uk/my-community/community-projects/future-energy-landscapes-community-consultation-method/ or contact us

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