Community-scale Renewable Energy

Our energy system is changing, and the public are keen for more local involvement and increased opportunities for practical action on climate change. This is all part of a wider trend towards “distributed energy” – a move away from the old model of large coal and gas-burning power stations that send electricity to us via centralised transmission networks – to a system dominated by smaller-scale low carbon generators. 

For a few years from 2010 the community sector briefly grew rapidly.  Then, from 2015, government policy changes and funding cuts resulted in a steep decline in new schemes. Now, in 2020, the falling costs of renewables, improvements in battery storage and the prospect of selling electricity locally are giving new life to community energy projects. The animation below from Power for People illustrates  the huge potential of clean community energy that would be unlocked if the right for communities to purchase locally generated power became law.

Community-scale projects can range from a solar PV system on a school or church roof to farm-based biogas, wind or solar projects. Today, community buildings, farmers and other landowners currently host over half of the UK’s solar power – enough to supply the annual energy needs of over 1.5 million homes. 

Because of the special nature of our local natural environment, community-scale projects are a sensitive issue. Proposals will need to undergo comprehensive analysis and community consultation to make sure that their impacts are not excessive in terms of visual amenity or environmental harm.

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Solar PV for Homes

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Energy Efficiency

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Community-scale Renewable Energy

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Electric vehicles

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Measure Your Footprint

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Reduce, reuse, recycle