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- Getting community energy involved in Local Enterprise Partnerships
- The energy system is in flux, let’s ready ourselves for a community takeover
- Celebrating a strong year for energised communities at CfR
- Community Energy at the forefront of disruptive change in the energy sector
- Meet your MP about community energy this Community Energy Fortnight
- We can do more to foster community energy in low-income communities.
- What next for community energy in a post-FIT world?
- A new generation of investors are using their money to drive change
- People, Power and Happiness
- A review of CEF17
- Community energy, a magic bullet for a multitude of charitable objectives
- Community Energy Fortnight Lobbying Pack 2017
- How smart technology is empowering rural energy projects
- Community energy is not just what we do, but how we do it - By Ed Mayo, Co-operatives UK
- “It's all still to play for" says Co-op Energy's Head of Renewables
- York Community Energy trip round the panels of Auld Reekie with Edinburgh Community Solar
- The Ramblers: Protecting the places we love to walk in a changing climate
- Why Community Energy Fortnight is so important - By Emma Bridge
- CEF17 is Powering Together!
- Community Energy Fortnight 2017 dates announced and news of a new collaboration
- The community energy revolution is evolving, and the future’s bright
- Investing in community energy schemes
- Energising faith communities: the Spirit project
- Community Energy - the way forward
- CEF16 dates announced
- The community energy revolution pushes on in face of storm clouds
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Back the Big 60,000 Campaign for Community Energy!
Sign the Big 60,000 petition to support local renewable energy generation by clicking here!
Imagine 60,000 community groups, farms, businesses and households across the UK using renewable energy to generate power, selling it back to the grid and making us less reliant on big power stations. Previous Minister of State, Gregory Barker said that he wanted the Big 6 to be challenged by an army of new entrants that he called the ‘Big 60,000'.
It’s exciting because it’s not only possible; it’s already starting to happen. Already there are thousands of us using community-scale wind turbines to generate energy. From ice-cream makers, micro-breweries and community schemes, the UK public are generating home-grown wind power and becoming part of the Big 60,000.
Why is it good for the UK?
Firstly, it means we don’t put all our energy eggs in one basket by relying entirely on single large energy generators far from where we live. That in turn means we aren’t as vulnerable if energy prices change. And when you source your energy locally, every kettle boiled and every light switched on invests more money back into the community. So it’s good for everyone involved.
So what’s the problem?
The Big 60,000 is still in its infancy, and it needs support until it can stand on its own two feet. Up until now, that support has come in the shape of the Feed-in Tariff. These are payments that are made to small electricity ’growers’ to help encourage them to install renewable technology like wind turbines.
Since the Feed-in Tariff was introduced in 2010, community-owned wind power has grown significantly. But it needs to receive continued support in order to achieve its full potential. In April this year, financial support was cut by 20%, and a further 10% will be cut again in October. With such an extortionate decline in support, all the good work achieved in the industry could wither on the vine, and the money used to support the industry in the past will have gone to waste. Andy Gibbs from Bathgate in West Lothian commented:
“Our turbine provides around 1/3 of the electricity our local village needs and another has been installed that will boost that to 50%. However, we as a village have been lucky because both these turbines were installed before the heavy cuts in the Feed-in Tariff. We wouldn’t have been able to go ahead with the projects if we were facing the new levels of support. It is vital that funding carries on.”
It’s correct that as more community-scaled renewables are installed, support is scaled back, but cutting investment too much will put British manufacturers out of business and make it harder for communities to generate their own electricity.
What are we asking people to do?
We’re asking everyone to show their support for the Big 60,000. Community energy generation has fantastic potential in the UK, and we want to see it grow, so we’re calling on the Government to review the Feed-in Tariff reduction.
Visit www.actionforrenewables.org/take-action/im-backing-big-60000 to sign our petition, and to see some of the fantastic local wind turbine projects that are already up and running.
Louisa Coursey, Small & Medium Wind Development Manager at RenewableUK
18th Sept 2014