This post is by Emma Atkins of Repowering London.
“Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people to give them hope. But I don’t want your hope. I want you to act.”
When 16 year old Greta Thunberg spoke to the World Economic Forum in January 2019, it was five months after her first school strike to protest the inaction around the climate emergency outside the Swedish parliament. Millions of school children followed in her footsteps, sparking the movement Fridays for Future. Last Friday was the world’s biggest climate strike ever; and, this time, the adults were there too.
The closing of the feed-in tariff scheme (FiT) in March this year caused dismay, inviting accusations that it was a retrogressive step for an aspiring low carbon economy and unfair to community energy groups. FiTs had underpinned the growth of this sector over the past decade. It was the means by which small scale renewable energy generators, including households, were paid for surplus energy they fed in to the grid. Read more
This post is by Shea Buckland-Jones, project co-ordinator of Re-energising Wales at the Institute of Welsh Affairs.
The potential benefits of local and community involvement in energy range widely. One report on small and community hydro in Wales suggested that local and community ownership could almost double local economic impact, compared with national, commercial developments. Read more
Imagine a future where you have control over energy. You can make it, store it and sell it from your home, feeding the profits back into your local area. Actually, some people don’t have to imagine it. They’re already doing it and this model could spread, because change is coming. Read more
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:
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.
Green Alliance associate Rebecca Willis reports on the project, Cultures of Community Energy, which she worked on for the British Academy.
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