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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 January 2007, 11:12 GMT
Green energy call for new schools
Solar panels
Mr Ballance wants to see renewable technology like solar panels
Dumfries and Galloway Council has been accused of failing to incorporate renewable energy technology into its new school plans for the region.

South of Scotland Green MSP Chris Ballance said it was "short-sighted" and "environmentally irresponsible".

A wide range of developments are planned as part of a Public Private Partnership programme.

The authority said no final decision had been made on the use of renewable energy in the new school buildings.

Councils should be taking the lead on this issue, not dragging their feet and simply looking for the lowest cost option
Chris Ballance
South of Scotland MSP

Mr Ballance claimed it was ironic that the council had embraced the "ruinously expensive" PPP model while ruling out green technology on cost grounds.

"While it is true that initial costs are higher, and financial payback may be distant, the fact remains that there are sound reasons for going down the renewable energy route," he said.

"Councils should be taking the lead on this issue, not dragging their feet and simply looking for the lowest cost option."

However, a council statement denied that the renewable energy option had been ruled out.

Best advantage

"Having taken advice on the Green Energy Solution for the schools not within the PPP project, the council is considering how this can be incorporated within the PPP project to best advantage," it said.

"We are therefore continuing to work with the Carbon Trust and will be meeting with the Scottish Executive Energy Efficiency Advice centre to determine our best course of action.

"Once the results of this are known the council will make the appropriate decision, taking into consideration both cost and environmental impact."


SEE ALSO
Eco-friendly contest for schools
12 Oct 06 |  South of Scotland
Minister studies school PPP plan
24 Aug 06 |  South of Scotland
School upgrade costs report call
28 Feb 06 |  Scotland

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