Principles

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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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The Taskforce reports

The first draft report was published in June 2014 and is available here.

The Taskforce consulted about this draft, and received over 50 responses. CEE's response is available here

The taskforce's final report was due at the end of September, but has been delayed by a few weeks.

Once it has been published, it will be available here.

The government is expected to respond to the taskforce report before the end of the year.

Principles of shared community ownership

The Shared Ownership Taskforce agreed a set of principles guiding the way that the shared ownership process is developed. It agreed the shared ownership should achieve:

  • More deployment: Enable greater deployment of renewable energy, through building increased support for renewable energy development.
  • Increased understanding and engagement: Developers and communities should be able to use shared ownership to engage and motivate people, with knock-on benefits of greater understanding of the energy system, renewables and energy efficiency – ‘energy literacy’. To enable this, local participation in shared ownership discussions should be prioritised.
  • Inclusivity: Renewable energy schemes as a whole should provide wider social benefits, so that those who cannot afford to contribute financially can still engage in the project and receive wider benefit. This could happen, for example, through community benefit funds or through the activities of a community enterprise.

The approach to realising this should be:

  • Flexible: Community shared ownership is a novel concept in the UK and a flexible approach allowing innovation is essential. We anticipate that different approaches to shared ownership may evolve depending on technology, project size, community aspirations, and so on. We have described various approaches which have been used to date, but across the renewables sector as a whole we would expect a range of different models to be offered.
  • Cost-neutral: Shared ownership is not expected to increase project costs and developers are not expected to subsidise communities’ costs.
  • Distinct from community benefit funds: Shared ownership should be considered separately from community benefit funds.
  • Mutually beneficial: Schemes should benefit both the commercial operators and communities involved, as well as the renewables industry as a whole.
  • Contingent on policy: A significant increase in the uptake of shared ownership will require policy and process improvements, which we hope can be progressed through dialogue with and action from government.