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The UK cities driving energy revolution

The renewable energy revolution set to sweep across Britain and the world is increasingly being driven by cities and regions, as well as companies. In the United States and to a lesser extent in the UK, the renewable industries have been hit by a series of regulatory sucker punches in recent years. As Donald Trump pulled back the federal government’s support for the Paris Climate Change Accord, the leaders of some major states and cities in the United States wholeheartedly pledged their support for the measures and promised to keep the country on the cutting edge of climate science. Cities do have an important part to play in a cleaner climate future. They have a high level of control over transport systems, including the provision of charging points for electric vehicles. City authorities also have a great deal of control over building planning, including the use of solar panels on buildings. They also play an important role empowering companies to innovate and pursue new clean energy technologies. In this blog post, we chart some of the UK cities who are doing their bit to drive forward the clean energy revolution.


We may be a little biased including our home city in the poll, but Hereford and the broader area of Herefordshire and beyond are certainly doing their bit for a clean energy future. There are many renewable energy companies in the surrounding area. Herefordshire Council recently bolstered their green credentials further by becoming the first council with all LED street lights – slashing costs, cutting emissions and reducing light pollution in one swoop. This kind of demand-side response to the national energy question is an example of a significant action that cities and regions can take.


In May of this year, Danish company Dong Energy finished installing 32 giant wind turbines in Liverpool Bay. Each of the turbines is taller than the Gherkin skyscraper with a blade unit bigger than the London Eye. The extension on the Burbo Bank wind farm completed a decade ago is the first time that 8MW turbines have been used. These turbines make offshore wind power more commercially viable, able to generate enough power for one house for one day with just one blade rotation. The scheme has a deep UK supply chain – with blades made in the Isle of Wight, the foundations constructed in Teeside and assembly work carried out in Belfast.


Glasgow makes the list because the largest onshore wind farm in the UK is just 15km north of the city. Whitelee Wind Farm proves that onshore generation sites can co-exist peacefully near major cities, without affecting skylines and farmland too much. The on-site visitor centre is also a victory for tourism in the area. 96% of visitors rated the wind farm as excellent or very good on the internet review site Trip Advisor.


The London Taxi Company’s newest plant in Ansty, Coventry is interesting because it will be producing thousands of electric-powered taxi cabs from later in the year. Built with Chinese investment in the company, the plant represents a symbolic modernisation of one of the things Britain is most famous for.

Published by Utility Helpline on (modified )