Thousands of communities across the UK could play a vital role in tackling climate change while also benefiting from new jobs and lower energy bills. Community Energy schemes could provide up to 2.2m homes with 5.3GW of renewable energy by 2030. At the same time, the schemes could help families by cutting up to £150m a year off household energy bills.
The potential for the sector is detailed in a new report – ‘The Future of Community Energy’ – commissioned by SP Energy Networks from the independent research consultancy WPI Economics. It maps out the scale of the benefits the sector could deliver and identifies what is needed for the sector to thrive.
The report also highlights existing community schemes and how the majority of these are currently in Scotland where financial investment from the Scottish Government and has been sustained over the last decade.
Given the right policy support at a UK level, it concludes that by 2030 the number of Community Energy organisations could rise from several hundred today to around four thousand. That could help bring about a £1.8bn boost to local economies across the UK, as well as creating around 8,700 jobs.
Energy Local: Standhill Community Energy Video
Energy Local: Bethesda Community Energy Video