pain’s growing energy cooperative movement has received a boost after the government announced that some of the latest allocation of renewable energy will be in small lots, rather than large tranches that only big energy companies can afford. The move signals a change of attitude after successive governments have given in to the demands of the power giants. It comes as cooperatives in rural and urban areas are trying to break free from the major electricity suppliers that have exploited high demand during the recent heatwave to push prices up to record levels. Cristina Alonso, energy spokeswoman for Friends of the Earth, welcomed the government’s apparent change of heart as “a favourable measure – but not one that actually promotes energy communities because it doesn’t define what they are. These need to be defined as democratic and genuinely autonomous.” Solar installation has accelerated rapidly since the abolition in 2018 of the so-called “sunshine tax”. The rightwing government imposed this on self-sufficient consumers in 2015 for, in effect, depriving power companies of income. Consumers were also obliged to give their surplus energy to the grid free of charge.
Guardian 1st Sept 2021 read more »