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  1. Chris Halpin

Rural residents fight plans for 74,000 panel solar farm

Making energy from the sun is seen as a clean, green way to generate power, but that doesn't stop how and where it's done from being controversial.

Latest figures show there are around 30 large-scale solar farms in the Midlands providing energy to tens of thousands of homes.

Some solar panels are attached to factory roofs, but increasingly farmers are turning over their land to energy developers. Tomorrow a decision is due for one such site near Stratford-upon-Avon, but it's facing fierce opposition.

Residents are fighting plans to put up 74,000 panels on nearly 100 acres of land near Long Marston Airfield in Warwickshire. Chris Halpin reports.


Powering the Midlands: Business and renewable energy

This week we have been shining a light on how the Midlands is leading the way in exploring new forms of producing energy.

In our third and final report by Wesley Smith, we look at the ways local businesses have embraced renewable technologies and the challenges they may face.

Powering the Midlands: renewable energy in the home

This eco-friendly cabin is home to two people in Herefordshire. It was built from recycled materials for less than £1,500. Credit: ITV News Central

In the latest special report on the use of energy in our region, we focus on how people across the Midlands have developed novel ways of powering their homes.

From newly developed eco-friendly houses, to solar panels and even a cabin in Herefordshire which was built with recycled materials for less than £1,500.

Could this be the answer for lower energy living?

All this week ITV News Central will be looking into the future to investigate where and how we will get our energy.

In the second instalment of our series 'Powering the Midlands', Wesley Smith is looking at a more compact way of life.

With the case for recycling growing ever-stronger, Wes has been to home in Herefordshire which has taken it to a whole new level.

  • Watch Wes' full report on ITV News Central at 6pm

Special report: The future of Coal in the Midlands

ITV News Central has seen evidence that the UK may fail to meet EU renewable energy targets by 2020. Everyone of us will be affected, so the race is on to change the way we live and work.

The Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd, is expected to outline the latest Government energy policy in the Commons shortly, which will see all coal fire power stations phased out by 2025.

So, we've been exploring future options in a series of reports.

Here's Wesley Smith with, "Powering the Midlands.


Coal power stations to be ‘phased out’ by 2025

Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in Nottinghamshire Credit: PA

The Energy Secretary will later announce the UK’s coal fired power stations will all be phased out by 2025.

There are four coal burning power plants across the East and West Midlands at:

  • Rugeley, Staffordshire
  • Ironbridge, Shropshire
  • Ratcliffe-on-Soar, Nottinghamshire
  • West Burton near Gainsborough, Lincolnshire

Amber Rudd will reveal plans to build the next generation of cleaner gas-fired power stations instead.

Currently around 28% of our energy needs are met by burning coal.

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