The last decade has seen an acceleration of the adoption of renewable energy generation. We have been pioneers in public relations and public affairs in this field, working on projects including major on- and off-shore wind farms, solar photovoltaics (PV) both large and small scale, biomass, energy from waste, combined heat and power (CHP) and tidal. We have supported the understanding, development, promotion and planning of alternative resources in a variety of ways.
Our knowledge of the issues, the marketplace, and its principal players and influencers is unrivalled. The firm’s focus on the sector is concentrated within Chelgate Environment, a specialist division led by deputy chairman Nick Wood-Dow. He has long had a personal interest in renewable energy, serving on the steering group of PRASEG (Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group) and of SEP (Sustainable Energy Partnership) and, for many years, he was deputy chairman of the Environment Council.
Since the early 1990s, we have advised wind energy companies on their approach to local authorities, the planning system, and relationships with communities, while stimulating public interest in wind farms and onshore wind energy around the UK and contributing to intelligent and informed debate. Working alongside leading independent renewable energy providers, Chelgate’s role has ranged from brokering the dialogue with rural communities to consider the advantages and allay misplaced fears over proposed wind farms, to public affairs initiatives to support the continued inclusion of renewables within energy policy for wind (as well as solar and biomass), ease planning obstacles and incentivise uptake.
We have worked with what was at the time Britain’s only manufacturer of PV panels, keen to raise the profile of roof-based solar power. We have also worked with Europe’s largest solar panel manufacturer and helped launch the German company into the UK market.
Chelgate has been involved in the promotion through the planning system of several of the UK’s largest solar PV parks. We have worked on projects across the country – from Nottinghamshire to East Sussex and Suffolk to Wiltshire – assisting with community engagement and consultation to guide proposed projects from conception to consent. We have also helped with several very controversial schemes involving planning appeals, call-in by the Secretary of State and subsequent Judicial Reviews.
We were appointed by an industrial group to develop the case for a Severn estuary tidal barrage to become government policy. We undertook a comprehensive programme of briefings for MPs representing constituencies near the river Severn, with meetings in Parliament and fringe events at party conferences, as well as significant local community consultation and engagement with the various environmental groups. The government decided to announce a formal feasibility study of the barrage at the conclusion of our programme, although the concept and development of the barrage is currently on hold.
Chelgate was involved in CHP in its formative years in the 1990s, handling the promotion of pioneering installations such as those at Eland House, then the home of the Department for the Environment, at Buckingham Palace and at Windsor Castle.
We have worked for a number of leading providers of CHP, although more recently, CHP has been part of an array of measures taken to improve energy efficiency, often as part of Energy Performance Contracts used with larger estates and energy users.
Home CHP is the next step in the development of CHP, with a number of companies innovating in this field. We have worked with several companies looking to bring these applications to market.
The development of biomass is usually in conjunction with CHP, with organic renewable feed stock being used to power units to generate both electricity and provide heat for local use. We are currently working with an energy company to build a 10MW biomass plant in Romania which will provide feedstock, electricity and heat to the local community, and bio-diesel.
For further information about our corporate energy public relations and public affairs, please contact Nick Wood-Dow by email or call 020 7939 7939.
For further information about our planning communications, community consultation and stakeholder engagement work surrounding energy projects please go to the Chelgate Local website or contact Liam Herbert by email or on 020 7939 7939.