Nottingham’s solar power champion recognised for outstanding achievement

Long-serving City Councillor Alan Clark, who died last year, has received a posthumous award for his outstanding contribution to the solar industry at this year’s prestigious Solar Power Portal Awards.

The awards aim to recognise leadership, innovation and best practice in the field of renewable and clean energy.

Cllr Alan Clark was the Portfolio Holder for Energy and Sustainability from 2011 to 2016 and took a leading role in making Nottingham the UK’s most energy self-sufficient city. Cllr Clark identified solar as a key part of Nottingham’s sustainable journey as it lends itself to accelerating other council priorities such as tackling fuel poverty and income generation to protect front line services at the same time as meeting environmental responsibilities to reduce energy demand and carbon emissions.

Solar projects overseen by Cllr Clark include

  • One the largest UK solar panel schemes on social housing for over 4,000 homes
  • Solar systems at over 45 council sites
  • UK’s first publically owned solar car parks
  • Insourcing the project management and delivery of sustainable projects to reduce costs
  • The launch of a renewable energy framework to boost the growing number of solar projects in the city

As well as rolling out solar projects across the city, Cllr Clark was instrumental in thousands of homes and businesses being connected to the district heating system and external wall insulation being fitted to thousands of homes, as well as setting up Robin Hood Energy, the UK’s first council-owned  energy company which has now ‘gone green’.

Strong political leadership has paid off for the city as Nottingham has met its 2020 climate change target to reduce its carbon emissions by 26% four years early. The current reduction is 39% and the city is on target to meet 20% of its energy demand from low carbon sources.

Councillor Sally Longford, Portfolio Holder for Energy and Environment, said: “This award is richly deserved and I’m pleased that Eunice was able to accept it on Alan’s behalf. Alan was passionate about his community and wanted to make it a better place for people to live and work.

“With solar power, he has left a fantastic legacy to the city. It is because of Alan that our council estates are a sea of solar panels. This directly benefits residents, as well as the council and the environment, and will continue to do so for many years to come. Through his unswerving commitment to this issue, Nottingham City Council has become a leading organisation in the field of sustainability, and we are determined to keep building on this to honour his legacy.”

Councillor Campbell added: “It was a real privilege to accept this award on behalf of Alan. He was a man of such intellect but someone who was so humble, kind, generous and loving.

“I’m proud of his contribution towards sustainability and tackling climate change, and all he has done to make a difference to the lives of people in Nottingham and beyond. His family here in Nottingham and Blackpool are really proud of his achievements.”

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