Wind farms could be built in the countryside to “offset” the growth of Cambridge.
A draft report which considers how the city’s carbon footprint can be reduced states the potential for using turbines is limited by the built-up environment and lower wind speeds.
Climate change bosses say that, if wind energy was to be used, it would probably have to be located in the surrounding rural areas.
In a report, Simon Payne, Cambridge City Council’s environment director, says: “The wider Cambridgeshire area has higher wind speeds and therefore greater potential for wind energy.
“As such, the use of wind power to offset carbon emissions from new development in Cambridge is the most likely scenario for this technology.”
The proposals are likely to cause concern because applications for rural wind farms have been vigorously opposed by villagers.
Cllr Ray Manning, leader of South Cambs District Council, said: “We appreciate the problem with trying to put a wind farm on Parker’s Piece and will do all we can to help, but it would need very careful consultation . . . to convince our residents we have got to do this in the best interests of everyone, rather than people feeling the city council was shifting its problems into south Cambridgeshire.”
Thousands of homes are set to be built around Cambridge in coming years and Cllr Clare Blair, the city council’s climate change supremo, said her preference was for green energy solutions to be built on-site.
She added: “Where there are a large number of constraints, there is a case for people to be able to pool together and come up with a wider solution.
“However there is no question that, because you can’t put a wind farm in Cambridge, we would put it somewhere else without consulting anyone, or against opposition, or purely to benefit Cambridge.”
She said any “offset” wind farms would have to be of advantage to the areas they were in, not just the city.
Other options in the report, to be considered by councillors on Tuesday, include using “district heating” systems to warm groups of buildings.
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