Brightfields for Communities
Derelict, abandoned and underused previously developed land (brownfields) is a shared challenge throughout Europe. Recent industrial history has left a legacy of brownfield and contaminated post-industrial land. It is estimated that the North Sea regions of Europe have more than 600,000 hectares of brownfield land. On the other hand undeveloped land (greenfields) has become a scarce resource in developed European countries.
Most of these brownfield sites have not previously been earmarked for development; the thought is that much of this land will be geographically close to potential users which could benefit from the re-development of brownfield land for the generation of renewable electricity. Brownfield sites are often underused because the perceived cost and risk of bringing them back into use exceeds the benefits to the land owners, thus some kind of public sector intervention is necessary to bring them back into productive use.
The energy from renewable generation is inconsistent with the peak-loads of demand. This increases the pressure and adds to the inefficiency of the electrical infrastructure across the North Sea regions. Europe needs to overcome these challenges in order to meet its carbon reduction targets.
The project proposes to establish a community partnership of users to increase the take up of renewable energy. Our experience suggests a partnership approach will help eliminate the barriers SMEs face in the North Sea regions for the take-up of energy from renewable sources.
This project will form a community of best practice throughout the North Sea regions to harness the best available knowledge and expertise. It will deliver a shared understanding that will meet regional challenges such as the lack of information regarding feasible brownfield sites.
By developing solar micro-generation sites on brownfields and using smart grid technology to match local energy demand, the project will address:
a) The reuse of brownfield land
b) A more efficient use of the electrical infrastructure
c) An increase in the energy generation from renewable sources
d) A reduction in carbon emissions