SOLAR panels and wind turbines could be installed on council land and buildings to help Worcestershire’s councils sell renewable enery directly to the national grid.

Worcestershire County Council, which already has a wood fuel boiler at County Hall helping to heat its buildings, has confirmed it will be taking a look at government reforms that encourage local authorities to host projects that generate clean wind, solar and water power.

Wychavon District Council is also considering its options but Worcester City and Malvern Hills have made less enthusiastic noises.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said lifting a ban on councils in England and Wales selling to the grid would allow them to raise up to £100 million a year in income and lead a “local energy revolution”. How-ever, sceptics fear the move could lead to a situation where wind turbines and incinerators – plans have already been unveiled to build a £120 million facility in Hartlebury – pop up across the country “at an alarming rate”.

Councillor Anthony Blagg, Worcestershire County Cou-ncil’s cabinet member for waste and sustainability, said: “Currently in Worcestershire, all renewable energy that is generated on the county council’s sites is utilised within the council’s buildings.

“In line with government guidance, however, all councils are now investigating further possibilities for renewable energy and Worcestershire County Council will be consulting with residents to obtain their views later this year.

“More will be known on the options for the county and whether selling renewable energy is viable, on completion of this work.”

Cherrie Mansfield, of Wychavon District Council said: “Renewable energy is clearly important and we have considered projects around generating green energy for our buildings and we will still pursue them in the future if they prove to be financially viable.” We previously re-ported in your Worcester News how the proposed in-cinerator at Hartlebury could dispose of 200,000 tonnes of unrecycable household rubbish in Worcestershire and Herefordshire, in turn creating enough electricity to power a town equivalent to the size of Kidderminster. Wychavon District Council is due to discuss that application on Thursday, August 19, before it goes to county council for decision.

UKIP West Midlands MEP Mike Nattrass, who is opposed to that plan, said that lifting the ban on local authorities selling electricity to the national grid was a way of “opening the floodgates” to mass development of inefficient initiatives.

“The coalition says on the one hand it wants to become the greenest government ever, then on the other hand it is encouraging cash-strapped local authorities to erect wind masts which could spring up in our public parks,” said Mr Nattrass.

Worcester City Council leader Councillor Simon Geraghty, Conservative, said he thought it was a positive initiative put forward by the Government which the county council should take a lead on for all six district councils to follow.