THERE are plans afoot to harness the power of streams in the Forest of Dean to generate renewable energy.

Newland Parish Council is considering small hydroelectric schemes to generate power from two streams which flow to the River Wye.

The proposals tie in with the Forest of Dean District Council’s ambition to achieve carbon net zero emissions by 2030. 

This is a target of completely negating the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activity which can be achieved by reducing emissions and implementing methods of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

District Councillor Dave Wheeler (G, Newland and Sling), who is also Newland Parish Council chairman, told the District Council meeting on December 14 of the plans after opposition councillors questioned the viability of such schemes locally.

“Newland Parish Council’s climate emergency working group are at this very moment proposing and investigating two very small hydroelectric schemes,” he said.

“Simply from the flow of the two main streams running into the river Wye, we will be investigating the possibilities of it in the very near future in the New Year.

Councillor Bernie O’Neill (Progressive Independents, ) questioned the feasibility of hydroelectric power plants in the Forest as there are five major ones in the whole country.

“There are three in the north of Scotland, up in the Highlands, and two in North Wales.

“Under two per cent of the UK’s energy is produced from hydroelectric power. Could the leader tell me where in the Forest he envisages HTP stations being established.”

Council leader Mark Topping (G, Lydney West and Aylburton) said these would not be hydroelectric power stations on such a grand scale.

“There may well be smaller, more community based options. That’s saying that we will explore all possibilities of hydroelectric power that there are.”

Cllr Andy Moore (G, Newnham) said he had visited quite a lot of hydroelectric schemes. And said some such as those in Spain are very small.

“Provided you’ve got a stream and it’s running down a hill you can generate hydroelectric power.”

Cllr Wheeler suggested Cllr O’Neill should visit Newland village to see what they are doing.