Help urged for local energy schemes

Help urged for local energy schemes

Help urged for local energy schemes

First published in News

The Government needs to do more to boost local-scale energy projects such as community-owned solar panels and energy saving schemes, researchers have said.

Initiatives such as community renewables could make a large difference in tackling climate change and boosting energy security, according to a report from University of Sussex and University of East Anglia (UEA).

The Government has launched a new community energy strategy to help small-scale schemes get off the ground, but the researchers said better policy support was needed to boost grass-roots development of energy projects.

Researchers looked at 12 small scale projects including a solar panel project in Brighton, a home energy efficiency programme in Bristol, hydro-electricity generation in Cumbria and a community island buy-out on the Isle of Gigha, Scotland.

The study,  published in the journal Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, also involved interviewing people responsible for getting community energy projects going.

It found that: "While community energy has successfully grown up in between the cracks of the mainstream energy system it needs to be nurtured and supported... if it is to continue to grow and develop."

Lead researcher Dr Gill Seyfang, from UEA's school of environmental sciences, said: "The combined pressure of global climate change and threats to energy security mean that we will have to think more radically about sustainable energy.

"We wanted to know whether energy-saving community projects, run by voluntary organisations, schools, businesses and faith groups, could help.

"What we found is that there is a great deal of community enthusiasm for small scale innovative projects like this, but the resources available are not always enough to really help them flourish."

"What is really needed is flexible and tailored policy support at all levels.

"The community energy strategy has adopted many of our recommendations for supporting mentoring and intermediary organisations, but much more still needs to be done."

The Government needed to recognise that many community projects aimed at tackling fuel poverty and developing stronger communities, as well as saving or generating energy, and evaluation of such schemes needed to focus on those benefits not just on how much energy they produced.

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokeswoman said: "The coalition is determined to unleash the potential of community energy, helping communities to achieve their ambitions and drive forward a decentralised energy revolution.

"We want to bring more communities together to help them save money."

 

Comments (9)

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8:58am Mon 12 May 14

Morpheus says...

It is difficult to imagine a more ridiculous statement than the one given at the end of this article. These scheme will just increase the cost of our energy.
It is difficult to imagine a more ridiculous statement than the one given at the end of this article. These scheme will just increase the cost of our energy. Morpheus
  • Score: -2

9:44am Mon 12 May 14

Fercri Sakes says...

Morpheus wrote:
It is difficult to imagine a more ridiculous statement than the one given at the end of this article. These scheme will just increase the cost of our energy.
I believe you are wrong. Which makes your statement ridiculous.
[quote][p][bold]Morpheus[/bold] wrote: It is difficult to imagine a more ridiculous statement than the one given at the end of this article. These scheme will just increase the cost of our energy.[/p][/quote]I believe you are wrong. Which makes your statement ridiculous. Fercri Sakes
  • Score: 1

10:20am Mon 12 May 14

fredaj says...

Fercri Sakes wrote:
Morpheus wrote:
It is difficult to imagine a more ridiculous statement than the one given at the end of this article. These scheme will just increase the cost of our energy.
I believe you are wrong. Which makes your statement ridiculous.
Believe what you want but does not change the fact that "environmentally friendly" power generation is extremely expensive and can only be made possible with subsidies paid for by a levy on fuel bills.
[quote][p][bold]Fercri Sakes[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Morpheus[/bold] wrote: It is difficult to imagine a more ridiculous statement than the one given at the end of this article. These scheme will just increase the cost of our energy.[/p][/quote]I believe you are wrong. Which makes your statement ridiculous.[/p][/quote]Believe what you want but does not change the fact that "environmentally friendly" power generation is extremely expensive and can only be made possible with subsidies paid for by a levy on fuel bills. fredaj
  • Score: 4

11:06am Mon 12 May 14

wippasnapper says...

B&HCC installed some solar panels in some of its council blocks of flats last year but have not made any attempts to install them anywhere ells I was also informed last year they where looking at solar glazing but to date no more on that.

There are many council properties around B&H that could be fitted with solar panels to help reduce not only then tenants fuel bills but also the councils witch must be humongous as with every block of flats they have external lighting witch stays on all night installing sensors would go feather to reducing there electric consumption even better installing LED lighting would feather reduces the electric consumption as Led only uses less than a tenth of your 100% electric consumption and with the way these energy company’s are going with razing the cost of the power we consume we all should be making some effete to reducing our energy consumption and unlike energy bulbs Led bulbs can be used on a dimmer switch and are far less bulky.

As to any local authority and this Government constantly telling use we must reduce our engage consumption but doing nothing to help use do so and as with this statement

"We want to bring more communities together to help them save money"

O’ come on if they truthfully wanted to help the communities come together to save money wouldn’t they be doing there bit by reducing there consumption i.e. street lighting yes we need it but instead of using halogen bulbs they would be using Led bulbs and what about office blocks and shops that leave there lights on all night if they had sensors in every room the lights would only come on when a person entered that room and so on its all a political tall story to get use on there side but lets be frank the only thing they want to reduce is the amount of money they pay use in any way possible but they are quite happy for the engorge companies putting up there prices.
B&HCC installed some solar panels in some of its council blocks of flats last year but have not made any attempts to install them anywhere ells I was also informed last year they where looking at solar glazing but to date no more on that. There are many council properties around B&H that could be fitted with solar panels to help reduce not only then tenants fuel bills but also the councils witch must be humongous as with every block of flats they have external lighting witch stays on all night installing sensors would go feather to reducing there electric consumption even better installing LED lighting would feather reduces the electric consumption as Led only uses less than a tenth of your 100% electric consumption and with the way these energy company’s are going with razing the cost of the power we consume we all should be making some effete to reducing our energy consumption and unlike energy bulbs Led bulbs can be used on a dimmer switch and are far less bulky. As to any local authority and this Government constantly telling use we must reduce our engage consumption but doing nothing to help use do so and as with this statement "We want to bring more communities together to help them save money" O’ come on if they truthfully wanted to help the communities come together to save money wouldn’t they be doing there bit by reducing there consumption i.e. street lighting yes we need it but instead of using halogen bulbs they would be using Led bulbs and what about office blocks and shops that leave there lights on all night if they had sensors in every room the lights would only come on when a person entered that room and so on its all a political tall story to get use on there side but lets be frank the only thing they want to reduce is the amount of money they pay use in any way possible but they are quite happy for the engorge companies putting up there prices. wippasnapper
  • Score: 5

12:45pm Mon 12 May 14

rolivan says...

On a slightly different note I watched a documentary last night titled Working man's Death it was produced nearly 10 years ago it was a real eye opener and to me just sums up the money that is being wasted because 3rd World Countries are just blasting the Earth with pollutants . Where I live in Brittany most of the year there are Wind Turbines and huge Storage units with South facing Solar Panelled Walls being built everywhere.
On a slightly different note I watched a documentary last night titled Working man's Death it was produced nearly 10 years ago it was a real eye opener and to me just sums up the money that is being wasted because 3rd World Countries are just blasting the Earth with pollutants . Where I live in Brittany most of the year there are Wind Turbines and huge Storage units with South facing Solar Panelled Walls being built everywhere. rolivan
  • Score: 3

1:33pm Mon 12 May 14

Mr chock says...

Fercri Sakes wrote:
Morpheus wrote:
It is difficult to imagine a more ridiculous statement than the one given at the end of this article. These scheme will just increase the cost of our energy.
I believe you are wrong. Which makes your statement ridiculous.
buying and installing solar panels is not free , and they are not yet that effective PLUS one stupid thing the current battery storage units only have a life of about 15 years in the good old days Mercury accumulators lasted 30 years + but environmental issues over them so they cant be used in domestic situations .. i have always wondered why massive roof top spaces such as that at brighton station and its massive depos all over the network do not have solar panels they are integrating wind turbines on to the signalling points , roll out the Energy saving all over the train network ..and church's must also have a great "real estate with very low power requirements sell the surplus back to the grid ..
[quote][p][bold]Fercri Sakes[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Morpheus[/bold] wrote: It is difficult to imagine a more ridiculous statement than the one given at the end of this article. These scheme will just increase the cost of our energy.[/p][/quote]I believe you are wrong. Which makes your statement ridiculous.[/p][/quote]buying and installing solar panels is not free , and they are not yet that effective PLUS one stupid thing the current battery storage units only have a life of about 15 years in the good old days Mercury accumulators lasted 30 years + but environmental issues over them so they cant be used in domestic situations .. i have always wondered why massive roof top spaces such as that at brighton station and its massive depos all over the network do not have solar panels they are integrating wind turbines on to the signalling points , roll out the Energy saving all over the train network ..and church's must also have a great "real estate with very low power requirements sell the surplus back to the grid .. Mr chock
  • Score: 3

7:19am Tue 13 May 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

The reason these large spaces are not used for solar panels is that the cost of employing a company to maintain/repair them outstrips the savings and no doubt many buildings would require full scaffolding to be erected every time they needed repair and maintenance.
The liabilities are just too expensive.
The reason these large spaces are not used for solar panels is that the cost of employing a company to maintain/repair them outstrips the savings and no doubt many buildings would require full scaffolding to be erected every time they needed repair and maintenance. The liabilities are just too expensive. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: -1

4:39pm Tue 13 May 14

pachallis says...

The success of solar PV systems is based upon the payback that those who invest in the schemes get.

New smaller installations (
The success of solar PV systems is based upon the payback that those who invest in the schemes get. New smaller installations ( pachallis
  • Score: -1

4:40pm Tue 13 May 14

pachallis says...

Sorry - used a less than symbol again! Attempt #2...

The success of solar PV systems is based upon the payback that those who invest in the schemes get.

New smaller installations (under 4kW) are now getting 14.9p for every kWh that they generate + 4.6p for every kWh that goes out to the grid (assumed as 50% of what generated). If it was not for these above wholesale prices (currently nearer 5.5p per kWh) then it would not be worthwhile installing a system purely on a financial basis (of course idealists with more money than sense would install them anyway).

It is only because of FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) that we are seeing the large number of PV systems being installed - otherwise the cost of the solar panels would not make Solar PV generation affordable.

And where do the FIT payments come from? Answer - from the large energy suppliers in the UK who are forced to make FIT payments by law - so effectively we are all paying for the Solar PV installations via our energy bills and the more solar PV systems are installed, the more electricity prices will increase to cover the FIT payments.

I just wonder whether the University of Sussex and University of East Anglia (UEA) included this in their calculations.
Sorry - used a less than symbol again! Attempt #2... The success of solar PV systems is based upon the payback that those who invest in the schemes get. New smaller installations (under 4kW) are now getting 14.9p for every kWh that they generate + 4.6p for every kWh that goes out to the grid (assumed as 50% of what generated). If it was not for these above wholesale prices (currently nearer 5.5p per kWh) then it would not be worthwhile installing a system purely on a financial basis (of course idealists with more money than sense would install them anyway). It is only because of FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) that we are seeing the large number of PV systems being installed - otherwise the cost of the solar panels would not make Solar PV generation affordable. And where do the FIT payments come from? Answer - from the large energy suppliers in the UK who are forced to make FIT payments by law - so effectively we are all paying for the Solar PV installations via our energy bills and the more solar PV systems are installed, the more electricity prices will increase to cover the FIT payments. I just wonder whether the University of Sussex and University of East Anglia (UEA) included this in their calculations. pachallis
  • Score: -1

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