Community Energy Fortnight 2016

published Jun 27, 2016
2 min read

CommunityEnergyFortnight2016_LOGO_withCoOp

Community Energy Fortnight 2016 to inspire and explore new solutions amidst challenging landscape

Theme for this year’s Fortnight is ‘Powering Forward’

The Community Energy Coalition is proud to announce the dates of the 2016 Community Energy Fortnight (CEF), in which events across the UK inspire and educate people about the benefits of owning, generating and saving energy together. The fourth Community Energy Fortnight will run from the 3rd to 18th September 2016, and is once again supported by The Co-operative Energy.

As in previous years, the Fortnight will showcase inspiring examples of communities who are sharing their resources, generating renewable energy and wasting less power by embracing technologies as diverse as solar-PV arrays, wind turbines, hydro-electricity and biomass heat. But amidst a challenging UK policy landscape, this Community Energy Fortnight will be the most relevant and important yet.

Community energy in the UK has never been more successful, vibrant or necessary – with 2016 seeing record levels of deployment and the sector finally beginning to make a real impact. However, financial support models including the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) subsidy and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief regimes, which have been vital to the success of current initiatives, have now been withdrawn for future projects. This means that by 2018 the community energy sector will need to have developed radically new models of operation if it is to continue to grow.

This means that by 2018 the community energy sector will need to have developed radically new models of operation if it is to continue to grow.

This year’s Community Energy Fortnight, Powering Forward, will therefore not only showcase inspiring examples of communities that are pooling resources to generate renewable energy and reduce waste, but also generate discussion and explore options for development of new models to face the challenges ahead.

Will Dawson, Head of Energy at Forum for the Future which is part of the Community Energy Coalition, said: “Recent policy changes have hampered the growth of community-led energy initiatives, and this has been hugely frustrating for all of us, but we know that communities are the crucible of resilience and innovation when times are hard.

That’s why this year’s Fortnight is different. We will enjoy celebrating the success of new and established projects. But for the first time we will also gather insight from how communities in other countries, such as Germany, have worked together to overcome similar challenges. And most importantly we will be helping new solutions to power forward and thrive despite the recent changes. We look forward to kicking this off with the Community Energy Conference on 3rd September, and we encourage you to come along!”

The Community Energy Conference, held on the 3rd September in Oxford, will begin the Community Energy Fortnight. Topics that will be highlighted throughout include:

  • What role can local government play?
  • Can the EU’s new Renewable Energy Directive offer new impetus and opportunity?
  • How will the crowd-sourcing of finance evolve?
  • What are the radical new options that demand management and storage technologies provide?

Ramsay Dunning, Managing Director of The Co-operative Energy, commented: “At Co-
operative Energy we are proud that the number of active energy supply agreements we have with community energy generators increased from nine to thirteen last year. Our customers can pair their supply with these and other renewables projects via our User Chooser facility, which recently beat off over three hundred entries from across Europe to win the EU Renewable Energy Award.

Community energy projects have a unique ability to drive change and empower citizens, which is why we are so keen to support the Fortnight and see it go from strength to strength. The UK has become a hotbed of community energy innovation and we need to see this continue.”

Details of previous Community Energy Fortnight events are available on the Community Energy Coalition website http://communityenergyengland.org/

If you’re interested in getting involved with the next Community Energy Fortnight, please get in touch info@communityenergyengland.org. Follow the Community Energy Coalition on @CEFortnight and get involved with the online conversation with the hashtag #CEF16.