“Give community-scale renewable energy a massive boost by empowering communities to sell their energy directly to local people” [Power for People]
“Current regulations in the energy market mean that community energy projects cannot directly supply local communities, an issue which the Local Electricity Bill seeks to address.” [from the Skidmore ‘Net Zero Review‘]
“A subgroup has been asked to look into the provision of long-term production of electricity in the Sid valley… to make Sidmouth more sustainable.” [Sidmouth Town Council]
There are many ‘community energy projects’ happening: Inspiring community energy projects at work – Vision Group for Sidmouth
And there are many who are keen to promote this in parliament: Energy Bill can “unlock community energy across the UK” – Vision Group for Sidmouth
What exactly is ‘community energy’ though?
The idea is to “give community-scale renewable energy a massive boost by empowering communities to sell their energy directly to local people”: The community energy revolution – Vision Group for Sidmouth
The Power for People group is pushing for its ideal local energy bill – and has just sent out this press release:
A new Government-published report – the ‘Net Zero Review’ – has backed exactly what we are campaigning for. Its leading recommendation for more clean community energy: “Government should commit to the Local Electricity Bill.” It says: “Current regulations in the energy market mean that community energy projects cannot directly supply local communities, an issue which the Local Electricity Bill seeks to address.”
But despite this Government-published report recommending that they themselves support the Bill, they continue to say it is not needed. We must persuade them to change their mind. It can be done. We know because we have worked on other successful campaigns for new laws that managed it. And this new report backing us helps a lot. Power for People and Power for People | Facebook
This is the form the group would like to see the bill take:
A Bill to require the Secretary of State to make regulations to establish a framework to support the growth of community energy schemes; to guarantee small energy generators a stable tariff for selling their energy based on current market rates; to establish a local energy supply mechanism to enable community renewable generation schemes to sell directly to local people; to give specified duties to the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority; to require annual reporting; and for connected purposes.
The group has support from 300 MPs, as seen in the recent debate: Bath MP champions community energy projects during parliament debate | Bath Echo and Furness MP thanked for championing Community Energy in Parliament | The Mail
The idea of ‘community energy’ is gaining ground all over the place: As the energy price crisis bites, is the future of renewable energy community-owned? – edie
And there are examples in the south of England to look to: Green energy bosses call on government to cut red tape for renewable power projects | Science | News | Express.co.uk
But what about the Sid Valley?
The Environment Committee of the town council has been looking at ‘community owned local energy production’ – and produced its first report last October:
REPORT OF SUBGROUP ON ENERGY PRODUCTION The subgroup has been asked to look into the “Provision of long-term production of electricity in the Sid valley, including Solar, Wind, Hydro or other means of production to make Sidmouth more sustainable... https://sidmouth.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/minutes-311022-Environment.pdf