Community energy - The Way Forward
Last year saw the largest ever growth of community energy projects, not only in terms of numbers but also in scale and the benefits that community energy delivered. At the same time however, the sector faced unprecedented changes to policy, finance and regulation, and the model that delivered all those projects is now broken. As a sector we are innovative and passionate and there is a sense of optimism over the longer term prospects for community energy as we start to explore new models such as local supply and storage. The next 12-24 months show a far bleaker picture. Although a significant number of community energy projects will be built, these are all underpinned by feed-in tariffs (Fits) protected by now defunct pre-accreditation or EIS tax relief. Now we must adapt to the sudden removal of government support. This bridging period will need creative thinking and collaboration to create new models. This report provides an excellent start to this process. We cannot give up now; community energy simply brings too much value and we have worked too hard to come this far.