A recent National Trust report highlights that it is difficult to measure the tangible social benefits of community energy but that doing so is worthwhile to encourage a shift in the policy landscape to support its uptake and innovation. One thing is clear: wherever you find successful community energy projects, you will see real benefits for the local area. Here are five areas where projects are adding value:
Tag Archives: community energy
This post is by Jason Chilvers and Helen Pallett of the 3S (Science, Society & Sustainability) Research group, at the University of East Anglia
The drive to engage wider society around energy and climate change in recent years has been impressive. There have been many examples of impactful government-led programmes, such as Sciencewise’s public dialogues, the Behavioural Insights Team, and community energy projects. An increasing appetite for engagement has also swept across civil society groups, academics and the private sector.
If you passed Norwood School in Lambeth last month, you may have seen an unusual sight: a group of teenagers on the roof. Far from misbehaving, the students were taking part in Repowering Lambeth’s Schools, a community energy project installing solar panels with a total of 264 kWp capacity on five schools and a library in the London Borough of Lambeth. As well as earning the school more money, students and the local area benefit from a community fund and solar panel making workshops.
The green fields of Wiltshire have recently become the site of an impressive energy innovation. On the last day of 2015, the Braydon Manor Solar Array was connected to the grid, plugging in 9MW of solar energy, or enough to supply around 2,500 houses.
These days, renewable technologies not only generate 25 per cent of the UK’s electricity, they also generate plenty of data, giving us the chance to get a clear picture of what’s really going on.
We’ve pulled together our top ten resources as a quick reference guide, including stats, interactive tools and inspiration from the miscellany of initiatives that have taken root across the country. Read more
This blog is by Micol Salmeri, policy assistant in the low carbon energy theme at Green Alliance.
France is tackling climate change at the local level by exploiting people’s natural competitiveness. For the past eight years, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), in collaboration with local energy agencies (such as Prioriterre), has been using energy saving competitions to encourage people to create ‘Positive Energy Families’. It has had a big impact, with nearly 30,000 families or teams, in 81 of the 101 French départements (counties), taking part since 2008, saving an average of £160 per household. Read more
This post is by Ivan Lewis, MP for Bury South.
Greater Manchester has a proud industrial heritage and there are signs of the next industrial revolution too. Manchester’s Low Carbon Hub is co-ordinating efforts to reduce the city’s carbon emissions to 48 per cent of their 1990 levels, by 2020. Read more
We’ve asked leading thinkers, from politics, business and green groups, to set out their one big manifesto idea for the next parliament – the one they think will make a big impact in creating a greener Britain. We are publishing them through May and June.
With six ideas already under the belt, featured in posts on the 16 May and 20 May, today’s three ideas on a local theme come from independent adviser Rebecca Willis, Guy Newey of Policy Exchange and Simon Roberts of the Centre for Sustainable Energy. Read more
Poll after poll shows that community energy projects, whether co-operatively owned renewables or local energy action groups, are astonishingly popular. Read more
This post is by Matthew Parsons, technical director at Scene, a social enterprise, based in London and Edinburgh, focused on growing the community energy sector.
This year, the concept of community or locally owned energy has, to some extent, gone mainstream. Large scale projects such as Neilston, Westmill and Lochcarnan have hit local headlines, and politicians have hit the headlines nationally, expressing effusive support. Read more