Lancaster University commits to reducing carbon emissions
Lancaster University is set to significantly reduce its carbon footprint following a £5m funding award from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
The University is one of only three out of the 37 applicants to win the funding from HEFCE’s £10m Transformational Fund. The fund has been made available specifically for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across England to radically transform their approaches to energy consumption and reducing emissions. Lancaster was awarded half the total available.
Steve Egan, Deputy Chief Executive of HEFCE, said: 'Higher education has a substantial contribution to make in the area of sustainable development. Lancaster University's proposals were exceptional. They presented a very thorough case for a project that could significantly reduce its emissions.'
The proposed project is to develop two 2.1MW wind turbines on the University’s Hazelrigg site to the east of the M6 motorway.
Lancaster University would be the first in England to install wind turbines which would reduce its electricity consumption by approximately one third, equivalent to the residential requirements of all students who live on campus.
The wind turbines would make a significant contribution towards Lancaster University meeting the UK Government’s targets of reducing carbon emissions by 26% for the year 2020 and 80% by 2050.
In a recent survey carried out by Lancashire County Council nearly half of people questioned thought that Climate Change was already affecting Lancashire, with 83% of people saying they were concerned about the issue. Lancaster University’s project aims to significantly reduce reliance on grid electricity, and address the major global threats of climate change and resource depletion.
Lancaster University has already started consultations with the local community. These will continue and public exhibitions are planned.
A scoping request will shortly be submitted to Lancaster City Council, which sets out the technical and environmental assessments that would be undertaken as part of a planning application.
A planning application would only be submitted following agreement on the scoping request by Lancaster City Council and the completion and assessment of the community consultation process. If the application is successful, construction would start in early 2010.