Community Energy Strategy launched - greater ambition needed
Commenting on the Government's Community Energy Strategy, unveiled this morning (Monday 27 January 2014) by Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey, Friends of the Earth's Planning Campaigner Naomi Luhde-Thompson said:
“Community energy projects like solar panels on social housing offer people a real opportunity to take control of their energy bills – no wonder Germany and Denmark are already doing it.
“New Government funding will help more of us to afford start-up costs, but if we really want DIY energy generation to take off in the UK, there are other barriers that urgently need to be tackled.
“As well as improving grid connection, Ministers must ensure all larger renewable energy developments have mandatory local share offers – and do it this year.”
Notes to editors:
1. Beat the Big Six power companies - Coalition offers new £10m fund for DIY energy schemes – Independent on Sunday exclusive.
2. Friends of the Earth welcomes today’s Community Energy Strategy but says the Government's ambition does not go far enough. Major barriers to the grid such as charges and getting connected are not specifically removed in the strategy, although they are acknowledged. The issue of national planning policy guidance is not properly tackled, but this is the responsibility of the Department for Communities and Local Government rather than the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
3. The Community Energy Strategy says that energy in Britain is being transformed but that much of this is being led by "large companies and major investors". This is in stark contrast to Germany where the big four utility companies control only 13.5% of the renewable energy capacity.