When one considers how much is preserved — in fact, many-times replenished — with renewable energy: money, air, water; one wonders why all government does not back clean (renewable) community energy. Perhaps it simply takes time to wean vested interests off of old, toxic resources. Time is of the essence with change.
In an announcement this week from the UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), the government revealed that it does indeed have a plan, a strategy if you will, for renewable community energy — the Community Energy Strategy. It won support and backing from the Solar Trade Association (STA) in the process. PV Magazine has more details:
The strategy has been introduced in order to increase government backing for shared community energy, with the DECC creating a €12 million Urban Community Energy Fund to help kickstart community energy generation projects in England and Wales.
While shying away from imposing a specific sharing figure, the DECC has instead suggested that large scale solar farm developers offer a “meaningful share” of their renewable energy projects to local communities.
“For too long, community energy has been a policy footnote, with all the focus on big generators and individual households – all but ignoring the potential of communities to play a key role,” Energy and Climate Change Minister Ed Davey said in the DECC statement.
Speaking to the role of community participants, Renewable Energy Association (REA) chief executive Nina Skorupska said:
“We are delighted that the government is really serious about helping ordinary people become active participants in the energy economy. People are beginning to rethink energy, seeing that it doesn’t have to be expensive and polluting, and that they can even supply clean energy themselves. This is why we are seeing such excellent growth in the number of community energy companies.”
Pointing out the obvious, and breaking through the former smoke screen or lack of awareness and education on economics and renewable energy, the STA’s head of external affairs, Leonie Greene, said:
No technology democratizes ownership of the power sector better than solar. The U.K.’s solar power output is already owned by half a million solar households and by new independent companies outside the ‘Big Six’ utilities, as well as a few thousand businesses and communities.
It is clear that solar is already delivering a revolution in ownership, as well as in clean power generation. The further scope for community ownership of solar across the UK is tremendous. However, in practical terms, fulfilling this exciting vision does require government to ensure the Feed-in Tariff can support the take-off of community-scale schemes.”
For more on community and solar changes read:
- Colorado Pushes Community Solar Further With Aurora Plant
- Crowd Solar Creating Opportunities For Community Solar Investment
- Improvements Needed to Xcel’s Proposed MN Community Solar Program
- A Community Solar Gold Standard
- Wright-Hennepin’s Community Solar Display In Minnesota
- Community Solar Garden #Solar Chat Summary
- Community Solar May Be Next Big Thing In Australia Renewables
- REC Solar Completes 1st Community Solar Project in Colorado
- Cloudy Days For A Washington-State Community Solar Effort
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