We are extremely pleased to announce that we have won the European Solar Prize.

The Solar Prize is awarded to cities, communities, architects, municipal and private-sector companies, associations, organisations and cooperatives, journalists and citizens who actively promote renewable energies through their projects and initiatives.

The European Association for Renewable Energy, also known as EUROSOLAR, was founded by German politician and visionary of the energy transition, Dr. Hermann Scheer. EUROSOLAR has been awarding the European Solar Prize to groundbreaking renewable energy projects since 1994 and is proud to be Europe’s most prestigious renewable energy award.

EUROSOLAR awarded BWCE with the European Solar Prize 2023 in the category ‘Local or regional associations organisations’.

We were nominated by EUROSOLAR and selected by the jury from a wide range of applications and nominations.

Our jury chose Bath & West Community Energy because it shows enormous potential for green energy from the grassroots. The non-profit energy cooperative provides very promising and innovative solutions for the collective installation of photovoltaic systems on communal roofs, from which all participants benefit. With this award EUROSOLAR recognizes the work of the cooperative for a well thought out concept and therefore for the work against climate change. We congratulate you on this outstanding achievement.


Alex Lockton, our Renewable Energy Development Co-ordinator, accepted the award on behalf of BWCE. Here is an excerpt from his acceptance speech:

“On behalf of Bath and West Community Energy I am here to say a big thank you for this award, it means a lot to our members, our team and our communities. At Bath and West Community Energy, we believe Community Energy is the future of energy, it’s how it should be: generated and shared for the benefit of all.

Our success to date comes from our not for profit business model: raising money from people in our community through share and bond offers, investing in solar on buildings and from our solar farms and offering cheaper carbon free power to schools, businesses. Any surplus profit is reinvested back into our communities.

Our success also comes from our ingenuity, our experience and our partnerships with major stakeholders in our community with long standing cooperation agreements with Bath & North East Somerset council and many of our local parishes within our community area.

But our success will not stop there, we are aiming towards a future where the power will be directly for the people and right now we are trialling peer to peer trading to power peoples homes from solar farms in their community; linking to demand side response technology and now this year we are investing in providing retrofit support to help homeowners insulate and decarbonise their homes.

By linking efficiency, flexibility and peer to peer trading with our solar farms we see this as the key to unlocking the best from community energy and making a fairer energy system for our communities. This will take some time and like many countries we need reforms of our electricity market as well as our solutions to be tested, so for now while we develop this, we continue to drive our community solar model and continue to reinvest back into our communities.

And so finally, I say thank you again on behalf of all our members for this fantastic award, it means so much to us for all the hard work and will inspire us to keep doing what we are doing. I also want to say thank you to our members and community who may be watching this as well for all their support to make this happen and to Pete Capener our Managing Director who is an inspiration to us all and who is a privilege to work with. I know he will agree with me saying, we believe community energy is the future of energy, not for profit, by the people, for the people for a sustainable fairer society”

Find out more about the European Solar Prize and see who won in the various sections:

European Solar Prize