National Trust to invest in renewable energy 22nd April, 2013 Daniel Birkett
The National Trust is to invest £3.5m over the next two years to create renewable energy for 43 of its historic sites.
Five renewable energy projects will be set up in 2013 and 2014 which will include hydro-production, biomass and heat pumps. It is hoped that the Trust will generate 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 in an attempt to halve their fossil fuel consumption. Should the initial projects prove successful then the programme aims to spend “ten times that sum”.
Patrick Begg, the Rural Enterprises director at the National Trust said: : “Through our work we show that renewable energy technologies can be made to work in some of the country’s most sensitive landscapes and historic environments.”
This will lower their energy costs by around £4m per annum as well as reducing their carbon footprint and the National Trust claim that the money will be re-invested in charity conservation work. The organisation currently spends £6m a year to heat and power its sites which are made up of 300 historic houses, visitor centres, offices and 360 holiday cottages. It is predicted that if changes are not made soon then their annual cost could rise to £7.5m by 2020 due to increasing oil and gas prices.
Begg went on to say: “Like householders everywhere we are facing rising energy bills. We spend more than £6m each year heating and powering the places in our care”. “By investing in renewable energy production we can reduce our energy bills and invest more in vital conservation work around the country. It will put renewable energy at the heart of conservation.”