Sunday, 15 September 2013

Energy could be free & Low cost if we use Council Buildings. Report backs People Before Profit energy policy

Community energy could grow by 89 times but councils block progress, says report

A think tank report has said community owned energy could grow 89 times if councils started helping, and stopped blocking, the industry.
The Westminster think tank ResPublica The Community Renewables Economy: Starting up, scaling up and spinning out  says community energy could generate £30m a year in tax revenue for cash-strapped local councils, and drive down high energy bills by increasing competition in the energy market.
ResPublica urges councils to step up to the challenge and help, rather than hinder, progress.
It points out that in Germany, community energy accounts for 46% of all energy produced from renewables. In the UK this figure stands at just 0.3%.
The report suggests that by 2020, based on the fact that community energy capacity has increased by over 1300% to nearly 60MW over the last decade, the sector will grow nine-fold to 550MW.
However, it argues with help from local authorities and the right national policy framework, the sector is capable of delivering almost a fifth of total renewable energy capacity - this would be equivalent to 5.27GW by 2020.
Greg Barker, minister for energy and climate change, said in response to this report: ‘The Coalition is committed to helping hard pressed consumers with the rising cost of living. When it comes to energy bills, this includes supporting communities to take more control over local generation projects, while also empowering them to reduce their energy demand, tackle local fuel poverty, and get the best deal on their energy supply.
‘I warmly welcome the ideas in this report on helping communities navigate the planning system, and on forming productive partnerships so that they are better able to take an active role in their own local projects. Our aim is to help communities and local businesses seize this exciting opportunity.’
Maria McCaffery, chief executive of RenewableUK said: ‘This report highlights the exciting prospect of communities working more closely with local wind farm developers, local businesses and local authorities on jointly-owned projects.
‘Using this socially and economically-inclusive model, we have an opportunity to redefine the relationship between communities and developers to unlock a significant growth in community energy, particularly in onshore wind. This will enable all of us to reap the economic and environmental benefits of wind energy at a truly local level.’
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