It was to be at the heart of the renewable energy revolution. Projects owned and operated by the communities in which they were located would make clean energy accessible to millions of people, boosting economic growth, public engagement, and renewables capacity all at the same time. Solar panels on schools and churches and community centres, or wind turbines on the edge of villages, would give everyone a stake in the power they use. There was even the heartwarming story of a community at the heart of a fracking row embracing solar power instead. The first wave of projects proved hugely popular, as members of the public flocked to invest and developers identified an encouraging new route to market. Millions of homes could one day be provided with power from community-owned wind and solar projects, Ministers said. That was the vision just five short years ago. It is fair to say things have gone awry in the interim. Today the government will face fresh calls to come forward with a new community energy strategy, having effectively “abandoned” a 2014 package which aimed to power a million homes through community energy schemes by 2020.
Business Green 25th Feb 2019 read more »