Amid a challenging UK policy landscape, the 2016 Community Energy Fortnight will run from 3-18 September, with the theme ‘Powering Forward’.
Organised by the Community Energy Coalition and supported by Co-operative Energy, the fortnight will see events take place across the UK to inspire and educate people about the benefits of owning, generating and saving energy together.
Will Dawson, head of energy at Forum for the Future which is part of the Community Energy Coalition, said: “Recent policy changes have hampered the growth of community-led energy initiatives, and this has been hugely frustrating for all of us, but we know that communities are the crucible of resilience and innovation when times are hard.”
Over the last year financial support models such as the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) subsidy and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief regimes, which have been vital to the success of current community energy initiatives, have been withdrawn for future projects, meaning that by 2018 the community energy sector will need to have developed radically new models of operation if it is to continue to grow.
This year’s Fortnight will therefore not only showcase inspiring examples of communities that are pooling resources to generate renewable energy and reduce waste, but will also generate discussion and explore options for the development of new models to face the challenges ahead.
“That’s why this year’s Fortnight is different,” said Mr Dawson. “We will enjoy celebrating the success of new and established projects. But for the first time we will also gather insight from how communities in other countries, such as Germany, have worked together to overcome similar challenges. And most importantly we will be helping new solutions to power forward and thrive despite the recent changes.”
Now in its fourth year, the Fortnight will be launched with the Community Energy Conference on 3 September in Oxford, which will explore what role local government can play, the evolution of crowd-funding, and ask if the EU’s new Renewable Energy Directive could offer new impetus and opportunity.
“Community energy projects have a unique ability to drive change and empower citizens, which is why we are so keen to support the Fortnight and see it go from strength to strength. The UK has become a hotbed of community energy innovation and we need to see this continue,” said Ramsay Dunning, managing director of Co-operative Energy.
“At Co-operative Energy we are proud that the number of active energy supply agreements we have with community energy generators increased from nine to thirteen last year. Our customers can pair their supply with these and other renewables projects via our User Chooser facility, which recently beat off over three hundred entries from across Europe to win the EU Renewable Energy Award.”
In this article
- Community Energy Coalition
- Community Energy Fortnight
- Community Energy Fortnight 2016
- community energy generators
- community energy initiatives
- community energy innovation
- community energy sector
- Community wind energy
- community-led energy initiatives
- Energy industry
- energy projects
- European Union
- Powering Forward
- Ramsay Dunning
- Renewable energy
- User Chooser facility
- Will Dawson
- United Kingdom
- Top Stories