Devon Climate Emergency Response Group Meeting, 4th May 2023

Attendees

Meg Booth
Doug Eltham
John Amosford
Victoria Hatfield
Charlotte Brown
Claire Reid
James Cooper
Lesley Newport
Polly Frost
Donna Sibley
Rebecca Miller
Adam Williams
Mark Clapham
Harry Barton
Angus Berry
Joe Wadsworth
Simeon Pollard
Devon County Council (Chair)
Devon County Council (Environment Group)
Public Health Devon
Exeter City Council
Devon Climate Emergency
Exmoor National Park Authority
Environment Agency
Environment Agency
Devon County Council (Economy and Enterprise)
Torridge and North Devon District Councils
Plymouth City Council
South Hams and West Devon Councils
Devon Association of Local Councils
Devon Wildlife Trust
South West Water
Ripple Energy
Ripple Energy

Apologies

Emily Reed
Andrew Butler
David Eaton
Emmanuelle Marshall
Mark Kentell
Penny Tranter
Drew Powell
David Bartram
Stephen Walford
Keir Duffin
Sally Basker
Matt O’Dowd
Alex Gandy
Sara Gibbs
David Edmondson
Lewis Garvey
Chris Clarke
Claire Gibson
Jason Ball
David Rose
Als Parker
Devon Climate Emergency
National Farmers’ Union
Teignbridge District Council
Plymouth City Council
North Devon Council
Met Office
South Hams and West Devon District Councils
Exeter City Council
Mid Devon District Council
Devon County Council (Economy and Enterprise)
Exeter Science Park
National Grid ESO
Dartmoor National Park Authority
Public Health Devon
Torbay Council
Wales and West Utilities
Wales and West Utilities
Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership
Mid Devon District Council
South West Water
Devon Energy Collective

1. Ripple Energy

Doug invited Joe and Simeon to explain the Ripple Energy model and an investment opportunity – Derril Water Solar Park – in Devon that would provide zero carbon electricity for anchor institutions looking to achieve net-zero. The solar park is due to go live in quarter 3 of 2024.

Ripple enable people + businesses to part own renewable assets, and have their green, low cost electricity supplied to them via the grid

Simeon said that a typical electricity bill is made up of your electricity usage plus ‘non-energy’ costs. These include grid charges, taxes and supplier costs. As your power is still supplied via the grid, you will still need to pay these. This is why your electricity won’t be free, but your bills should be a lot more stable. How much you save depends on what happens in the energy market. Your savings are the difference between the unpredictable market price of electricity and the low and steady running costs of your solar park or wind farm. The savings rate is set each year and savings are applied to your bill according to how much your share of the project generates each month. The energy generated can be sleeved into a businesses’ existing supply. It’s a long-term hedge against rising energy prices.

Investments can range from £25 to 120% of your electricity consumption. The scheme expects to close to new investors by the end of May.

ACTION: Doug to circulate the Ripple slide deck to the Group.

ACTION: Anybody interested to make contact with Joe and Simeon ASAP.

2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes were accepted to be a true record.

One action carried over:

Claire noted that the Great South West Partnership has commissioned a report to look at issues for energy decarbonisation.

ACTION: Claire to circulate the Terms of Reference for the Great South West energy study.

ACTION: It was AGREED for Doug to establish a Devon Energy Planning Group as per the paper presented at the meeting.

3. Project Progress Report

3.1 General Project Communications

Charlotte provided an update reflecting Section 1.1 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes.

3.2 Devon Carbon Plan Update

Doug provided an update reflecting Section 2 of the the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes and invited questions.

3.3 Climate Adaptation Strategy Update

Doug provided an update reflecting Section 3 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes and asked for endorsement from the Group to commence the consultation of the Strategy on the 9th May.

The Group AGREED for the consultation to start on 9th May.

Claire asked if the working risk register could be circulated to the Group, too.

ACTION: Doug to circulate the risk register to the Group.

ACTION: Doug to circulate the communications toolkit for the consultation of the Adaptation Strategy to the Tactical Group.

3.4 Devolution

Meg added that it is expected that the new, combined authority will be active from September 2024.

4. Updates from Partners

Donna reported that Torridge and North Devon Councils have set up a climate partnership called North Devon Futures.

Claire said that the Exmoor National Park Partnership Plan is being reviewed. Also that there is a joint webinar with Dartmoor National Park on 22nd May about the carbon footprints of the parks.  

Victoria advised that Green Accord (scheme to assist Exeter CC measuring scope 3 emissions and to improve our supply chain) has had a soft launch. The Marsh Barton  solar array is now live, with a private wire and refuse electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Challenges include supply chain issues with food caddies, resulting in delaying food collection to some homes in Exeter. Some challenges with moving a canopy solar array from a car park we are demolishing.   

Harry said that the  Saving Devon’s Treescapes is going well. Plus Devon Wildlife Trust has exchanged on a property near Totnes and will be re-wooding 75 acres there using carbon offset payments from Aviva.

Appendix 1 – Project Progress Report 

Period: April to May 2023

Status Indicator Key:  

🔴 [RED] = Significant issue that requires Response Group intervention;  

🟠 [AMBER] = Minor issue that will initially be managed by the secretariat, but the Response Group should be aware;  

🟢 [GREEN] = No issue.  

1. Partnership Update 

1.1 General Project Communications [GREEN] 

1.1.1 Following 

Follower growth has returned to normal after a spike last month due to a paid social media campaign in March. Growth rate remains positive on all channels – currently at 10,350 followers.

A line graph showing the the online communications following
Figure 1.1. DCE Social Media Following

1.1.2 Campaigns and Projects

Business Engagement 🟢 [GREEN]

The Devon Carbon Plan Quick Reads have been converted into an A5 flyer version for businesses. This version has been sent to representatives from the LEP and South West Business Council for further feedback, and was distributed at a Low Carbon Devon business engagement in April.

A week-long online survey ran at the end of April to understand the usefulness of, and appetite for, a business badge scheme to recognise local businesses acting on net-zero. The findings will be analysed in the next few weeks.

Net-Zero Visions Curriculum Material 🟢 [GREEN]

The resource pack is being finalised following feedback and will be made available to all schools.

Devon-Wide Community Engagement 🟢 [GREEN]

The design and scoping work is underway, being led by Devon County Council. The initial research phase to understand the gaps in community support that need filling by the project has concluded. This is now being used to design the support programme for 2023/24, which will be an extension of the Community Action Group initiative.  An additional extension is being planned for delivery from April 2024.

1.2 Partners’ Notable Activity

Activity is recorded centrally on the Taking Action pages of the Devon Climate Emergency website.

Significantly less action has been reported on in the past month due to communication restrictions for the pre-election period.

  • Connect Plymouth has now launched and will offer e-bikes and electric cars for hire around the city.
  • The Langage Green Hydrogen project is the only project in the South West to be backed by Government as announced in March.
  • Coastal Workboats Limited (CWL) are relocating to Honiton’s Heathpark Industrial Estate and will manufacture components for the UK’s first fully electric workboat and charging station.
  • The Saving Devon’s Treescapes project, led by Devon Wildlife Trust, has opened a new tree nursery in Broadclyst, East Devon.

1.3 New Governance Structure 🟠 [AMBER]

Current activity of the Secretariat is has been focussed on preparing for the consultation of the Adaptation Strategy, so there has been little progress this month. This will be picked up later in May when resource becomes available after the launch of the consultation.

Nominations from the Partnership for a new chair of the Climate Task Force are welcome.

2. Devon Carbon Plan 🟢 [GREEN]

Partners continue to deliver the Devon Carbon Plan. Whilst the new governance is being established, the Secretariat will endeavour to prepare a highlight report for the priority actions of the Built Environment theme for the June meeting, and then a report for one of the remaining themes each month thereafter so that each theme is seen by the Group twice each year.

The Taking Action pages on the website are being upgraded so that progress on specific Goals within the Plan will be displayed more clearly. The IT has been setup for this and the secretariat are working through the legacy pages so that all of the Taking Action pages will be behave in the same way.

3. Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Plan 🟢 [GREEN]

The Response Group will be invited to endorse the draft Strategy for consultation at its meeting on May 4th. Partners in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have done the same – they are content with the arrangements.

The consultation will take place from Tuesday 9th May to Friday 30th June. Note the consultation has been extended to accommodate a request from the Isles of Scilly Council.

The consultation will provide an Executive Summary and ‘Quick Read’ versions for people who don’t need the detail.

Communications activity includes:

  • The distribution of a communications toolkit with assets for partners to use to share content
  • A webinar on Tuesday 16th May
  • A paid social media and Google Display Network advert campaign in Devon
  • A radio advertisement on Greatest Hits Radio Devon
  • A press advert in the Western Morning News
  • Distribution of messaging to local newsletters and a special feature in the DCE newsletter
  • A press release sent to media
  • Organic social media posts
  • Pop-up, in-person engagement events

Activity in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is at the discretion of partners in those areas. However, social media posts by the DCE and regional partners (e.g. Environment Agency and South West Water) are likely to be seen by residents in those areas, as will the Western Morning News advertisement and transmitter-spill from Greatest Hits Radio Devon.

4. Devolution Update

Earlier in April Government provided a response to the devolution application submitted last year. Team Devon responded with a further negotiation submission on the 19th April. The DCE secretariat were asked to input to the Net-Zero ask about energy planning (incorporating retrofit and unlocking grid issues) and natural environment enhancement. Plymouth and Torbay were invited to input to this also. A reply from government is now awaited.

5. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Devon Carbon Plan, and support available to communities to act will increase from May 2023.
  • The consultation draft of the Adaptation Plan has been prepared following feedback from the Climate Impacts Group. The consultation will begin on May 9th through to June 30th.  
  • The establishment of new governance arrangements have been on hold this month due to resource pressures but will continue once the adaptation strategy consultation  is launched.

         

                                             

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