There have been a number of concerns raised recently about the future of community energy - withsome local groups understandably worried about cuts to Feed-in Tariff rates. However Graham Ayling, Head of Energy Saving Trust Foundation, thinks its time is coming.
'There's no denying that the past year has been incredibly tough for community energy groups who've put their heart and soul into projects, only to have to go back to square one as government policy changed. However, this is an incredibly resilient sector, full of people determined to drive forward action on climate change and bring about a fairer, more democratic energy sector. It isn't about to roll-over and give up.
In the short-term, there's still a lot going on as many community groups pre-registered for the Feed-in Tariff (FiTs) so their projects should go ahead. For example, there's a great project we've been involved with in Swansea, where the council is setting up a community solar PV scheme in some of its most deprived areas, with the aim to directly benefit those wards. These schemes will make the sector stronger, generating income for new community projects, as well asrenewable energy.'
Full article at WCVA site.
The rise of green energy can't be stopped
The UK missed its target to generate 10 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources in 2010, but, just 5 years later in 2015 was up to nearly 25 per cent:
"It's incredible growth and a pattern that's being repeated globally. This is the future. Look at solar PV - a few years ago there was no financial payback, now it's on the verge of becoming one of the cheapest ways to generate energy. Uptake has been way beyond what anyone expected, because it's a popular technology. This isn't going to go away.
In the past, there was a perception that making a greener choice was always a compromise, but now people can see that the technology is good and can fit in with their lifestyle. It's really going to take off. What's needed now is policy that recognises and grabs the opportunity.'
Ultimately, Ayling is confident the DIY culture of community energy will see it through current challenges. He added:
'Community energy has always been about going out and doing it regardless. Of course funding helps, but it feels like we're on the verge of finding ways to do without subsidy if needs be. Then, who is going to stop it?'