Background

B.1 Leicester City Council has a long-established history of providing district heating (DH). Its first DH system was established in 1953 and was fuelled by locally-sourced coal. The coal pits in the area have since closed and the Council is concerned about security of energy supply and the continued use of fossil fuels and their associated CO2 output.

B.2 The citywide community heating system utilising CHP was conceived in 1987 following a government-funded study. The Climate Change Review in 1989 resulted in the 1990 Action Plan. This 35-year energy reduction plan set out to reduce energy use by 50% and stipulated that harmful emission levels should be reduced in Leicester by the year 2025. This made Leicester the first UK city council to implement a green energy strategy and it was designated Britain's first Environment City where a commitment was made to source 20% of its energy supply from renewable energy by 2020. The Council saw biomass for energy as a key way of meeting this target.

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