Strategy

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Shared Community Ownership

of Renewable Energy systems

All about shared community ownership under the Community Energy Strategy's voluntary protocol

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Contents and headline figures

The Strategy covers all aspects of community energy, which we have identified here, including: communal electricity generation and heat production; energy conservation and management; and collaborative buying and switching.

The government suggests that the potential contribution of community energy to the UK electricity mix could be up to 3 GW (3,000,000 kW - enough to power over 1 million homes) of capacity. At the time of publication, the installed capacity was about 66 MW - 0.066 GW.

The Community Energy Strategy

The government's Community Energy Strategy was published on 27th January 2014. This was the first time the government has published a specific strategy for community energy.

Main new proposals

  • The government to launch a new £10m Urban Community Energy Fund (to operate alongside Defra's existing Rural Community Energy Fund).
  • A new Community Energy Unit to be set up within DECC.
  • Commercial developers will be expected to offer community ownership in all new energy developments. [That is the basis of the shared community ownership approach to which this website is devoted]
  • [Not new, but re-stated:] The government's intention to increase the Feed-in Tariffs threshold from 5 MW to 10 MW for community schemes.

Other issues identified

The Community Energy Strategy also refers to a number of other issues which are holding back the community energy sector:

  • Regulation of the energy markets making it difficult for new entrants
  • In many parts of the country there is inadequate capacity in and access to the electricity grid
  • The concept of heat networks is hugely under-exploited in the UK
  • The planning system is rejecting many sustainable energy projects, and gives no recognition to community schemes
  • Existing incentive schemes, such as the Renewable Heat Incentive and Feed-in Tariffs, do not reflect the difficulties faced by community projects - typically slower and less resourced than their commercial counterparts
  • Funding of new schemes can be difficult, especially in light of the above obstacles

Working groups have been established to deal with some of these issues.

Watch this space!