Our vision for energy is:-

A sustainable energy policy that: optimises the use of renewable energy sources, reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, minimises the use of non-renewable power sources and production of waste, and enhances landscape character.

E1 Energy policy should improve management of energy demand and increase energy efficiency across all sectors. This would allow significant reductions in CO2 emissions thereby reducing the impact of climate change and the need for additional infrastructure.

E2 Energy use within the transport sector is the biggest growth area and should be addressed to reflect climate change commitments. Fiscal measures should be introduced to better reflect the wider social and environmental costs of energy consumption. Transport and land use policies should seek to reduce the need to travel, provide attractive alternatives to the car and lorry and address the predicted sharp rise in demand for air travel.

E3 Local authorities should promote energy conservation, both through energy efficiency in new and existing buildings and through their own practice, development plan policies and development control decisions.

E4 Where new energy development needs to be connected to the grid/network there should be a presumption towards placing power lines underground to avoid damaging impacts on the landscape, except where overriding nature conservation and/or archaeological considerations justify otherwise.

E5 Large-scale wind energy proposals which threaten, individually or cumulatively, the special qualities and character of Cumbria’s landscapes should be resisted. Wind energy has a role to play in meeting renewable energy targets, but should be part of a range of technologies. This may include wind, tidal energy, energy crops, hydro electric, combined heat and power, and use of photovoltaic materials. In future renewable energy should aim to offer a more reliable source of power than currently provided by wind energy alone.

E6 Single small wind turbines serving individual properties, or community energy schemes, should be supported provided that they do not harm landscape character or natural beauty. In general, wind energy proposals within or adjacent to settlements identified within Local Plans are appropriate provided cumulative landscape impact can be avoided.

E7 National energy policy should include fiscal incentives which allow Cumbria’s renewable energy potential to be fully developed in ways that protect and, where possible, enhance the area’s landscape character and natural beauty.

E8 Nuclear power’s future contribution to energy needs must be rigorously evaluated against social, environmental and landscape impacts. Issues relating to its cost effectiveness in terms of life-cycle analysis and safe disposal of radioactive waste must be resolved.