Community Energy Strategy: Opportunities and Strategies

Our chair Pete Capener is a member of the ministerial Community Energy Contact Group that has been advising DECC during the the development of their recently published Community Energy Strategy. He was also author of the report modelling potential community renewable electricity sector growth to 2020, referenced in the strategy and published by DECC at the same time.

In this blog – first published on the DECC website – he gives us his thoughts on the process and where it may lead.

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BWCE advises Government (part 2)

BWCE chair Pete Capener writes:

The Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) recently launched a ‘Call for Evidence on Community Energy’ with the intention of collecting information to help them develop a Community Energy Strategy in the Autumn. The strategy will outline what Government and others could do to ensure community energy projects flourish and become a central part of the UK’s response to climate change and peak oil.

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Community Initiative Award

BWCE wins RegenSW Green Energy Award

Dinners at Regen SW Green Energy Awards are always grand affairs, held for many years in the Assembly Rooms in Bath. Packed to the molded Georgian ceilings with the great and good from the renewable energy world. This year’s dinner was no exception and was made that much tastier by the fact that we won an award, for Best Community Initiative in the South West.

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BWCE shares exemplary

Following work by BWCE chair Pete Capener – local MP and now Junior Minister at the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) cites BWCE as exemplar  at launch of Community Shares Unit – watch here about 13 minutes in. Also mentioned in notes to editors in CLG press release here. From footnote to major news item – it’s only a matter of time!

Hydro projects

After a recent trip up north I took a detour to a couple of the most well known community hydro projects. They’re both pretty impressive Archimedean screw projects funded by community share issues.

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Government asks BWCE for advice

BWCE, in the form of our chair Pete Capener, have been invited to take part in a Community Energy Contact Group set up by the Energy Minister, Greg Barker.

There have been two meetings of the group so far where Greg Barker has highlighted the key questions he would like to see addressed and the group has discussed at some length the Feed in Tariff (and the absence of a Community Tariff to date). The group will be looking at the Green Deal and the Renewable Heat Incentive at future meetings. Pete Capener says, “It is encouraging to see that both Government ministers and senior civil servants are keen to hear the community perspective. Though of course the test will be to see the degree to which discussion translates into supportive policy and practice.”

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BWCE trials energy saving programmes for schools.

BWCE was successful in its bid for funding to the Department of Energy & Climate Change’s ‘Local Energy Assessment Fund’ for £37,000 in January. As part of our community work, 3 of our ‘generating’ schools (Ralph Allen, Oldfield and Newbridge Primary) as well as 2 additional primary schools (at Bathford and Colerne) have benefited from a full energy survey.

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