The rising costs of energy bills, matched by infrastructural and international pressures faced by businesses, producers and suppliers to combat climate change, demands a radical response from government. Smaller suppliers continue to face challenges to entry and growth within the UK’s energy market, and the potential for producers of renewable energy to benefit their localities and nearby communities has not been wholly harnessed.
The project, to be published as a full-length report, will explore the innovative business models, financial mechanisms and local partnerships that private developers, generators, suppliers, public services and business can establish to foster a far more decentralised model of energy provision. It will focus particularly on the opportunity for such businesses to devolve ownership and social benefits to the surrounding community.
Community-led renewable energy initiatives continue to face significant hurdles in the UK, and seriously addressing these obstacles requires adequate knowledge into the challenges and opportunities in the sector. As part of this project, ResPublica has established a research partnership with the Sustainable Community Energy Network (SCENE) to conduct an assessment of the current state of community renewables in the UK, and to review the community-private partnerships that already exist.
Set to conclude in Summer 2013, the research will run alongside and influence the Energy Bill as it makes its way through Parliament; DECC’s ‘decentralised’ and renewable energy policies, including the Community Energy Strategy; and the conclusions to emerge from recent 'community benefit' consultations. The policy recommendations will also appeal to a number of other governmental departments and agendas, such as the localism and decentralisation agendas, and the recent emphases on innovation and market plurality.
ResPublica is pleased to announce that RenewableUK
will be partners for this venture. ResPublica, RenewableUK and Utiligroup are inviting other individuals and partners to advise and support the forthcoming project. Formal partners will also benefit from participating in, and co-branding, on this activity.