Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is good for the environment and can help you to save money. Technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels and biomass boilers allow you generate your own energy which will save you money and reduce your carbon footprint. It can also be beneficial for local residents, businesses and communities where groups are established to enable cooperative ownership of renewable energy projects.

However, deployment of renewable energy needs to be carefully managed in order to deliver these benefits without harming the local environment. Appropriately sited and designed renewable energy projects can provide local social, environmental and economic benefits as well as helping the UK meet its climate change obligations. Planning plays a key role in helping to achieve these goals.

The Council has developed new planning guidance for renewable energy. The Renewable Energy Planning Advice provides guidance on a range of renewable energy technologies. It explains what community ownership means and how it might be considered as part of a planning application. It also contains detailed guidance on specific considerations, such as landscape and cumulative impact (in particular for wind turbines and solar farms). As such, the Planning Advice provides a proactive tool to guide new development, inform planning decisions and support the development of Neighbourhood Plans across Cornwall. The documents are available below:

Cornwall Renewable Energy Planning Advice

  • Annex 1: An assessment of the landscape sensitivity to on-shore wind energy and large-scale photovoltaic development in Cornwall
    • Appendix 1: Landscape Sensitivity and Strategy Matrices for each Landscape Character Area - large document, could take a while to download
  • Annex 2: Cumulative Impact Assessment Guidance for Cornwall - Wind Turbines
  • Annex 3: Cumulative Impact Assessment Guidance for Cornwall - Solar Farms

The Renewable Energy Planning Guidance was adopted in March 2016.

You can also find out about solar panels and whether you will need planning permission and building regulations before installing them on the solar panels page.

There are a number of organisations that offer advice and guidance on Greener Homes and while the Council does not endorse any of these sites you might find them helpful:

In addition to the Renewable Energy Planning Advice the Council has prepared some advice for Neighbourhood Planning groups looking to develop policies which maximise the local benefit of their energy transition. The guidance called ‘Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: a community-led approach’ will ensure that communities can take control of the future of their local energy systems by setting out the types of projects that will be supported and ensuring that local residents and businesses are the beneficiaries. 

The Council monitors the amount of renewable energy that is permitted and installed in Cornwall. This information can be found within the Renewable Energy Data for Cornwall documents.