Sector news

COMMUNITY ENERGY LONDON

PRESS RELEASE

26 June 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COMMUNITY ENERGY RISING

London celebrates Community Energy Fortnight 2018

The sixth annual Community Energy Fortnight (CEF) takes place from 23 June to 8 July 2018 at a time when the capital is witnessing a resurgence of activity in the development of community energy projects.

To highlight this revival, Community Energy London (CEL) will host a series of events during the fortnight, including a conference, a film screening, a community energy hackathon and an ‘open space’ event.

Community energy projects are diverse ranging from faith groups and schools developing their own rooftop solar schemes, to groups supporting energy efficient LED lighting projects in local buildings, to the development of micro anaerobic digestion plant. Community energy provides a route for people to take greater control over their use of energy – helping the environment, saving money and building local resilience.

It has however been a turbulent time for the community energy sector as a result of drastic reductions made by Government to the Feed in Tariffs (FITs) support programme in 2015, and the closure of the Urban Community Energy Fund (UCEF) the following year. Combined, these changes significantly impacted the development of community-led renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in London. 2018 however has been a turnaround year for the sector, with a growing number of exciting projects coming forward, thanks to support from the Mayor, local councils, and through collaboration with energy ‘challenger companies’,

The first phase of the Mayor’s recently launched London Community Energy Fund (LCEF) is supporting new groups and projects with the Mayor stating that further rounds will be announced shortly.

Deputy Mayor for Energy and Environment, Shirley Rodrigues, said:“Community energy projects have an important role to play in realising the Mayor’s ambition for London to become a zero-carbon city by 2050. His London Community Energy Fund currently supports 11 community solar projects across the capital and will see solar panels installed at schools, churches, sports centres and even a city farm.

“Projects like these show how keen Londoners are on generating their own clean, affordable energy. Community Energy Fortnight is a great way of celebrating London’s existing community energy projects as well as inspiring people to start their own.”

Camden and Islington councils are now also providing support for community energy using carbon offset funds to create new capital support programmes for projects. Other London councils are planning to follow their lead and will be announcing similar schemes later this year.

Community Energy London Chair Syed Ahmed said:

“Developing energy projects in London has always been a challenge, but despite the obstacles, groups across the capital have worked with their local communities to develop world-class renewable energy schemes.

“Over the fortnight we hope our events will raise the profile and achievements of London’s community energy sector and provide support and insights to those wishing to develop their own ambitious plans.”

With further funding and increased appetite from local groups to develop their own projects, community energy is on the rise in London.

NOTES

1.CEL’s Community Energy Fortnight events are as follows:

28th June – ‘Energising London’s communities’ – CEL annual conference (City Hall, 5.30-8.50pm)

Energising London’s Communities will be held at City Hall on the evening of Thursday June 28 and will examine new opportunities for collaboration, supporting existing and new groups to spur on the development of new projects and raising the profile of London’s community energy sector to London and national policy makers.

3rd July – Film screening, panel discussion and fundraiser (Rio Cinema, 6.30-9pm)

The screening will take place at Rio cinema in Dalston, on Tuesday 3rd July at 6.30pm, followed by a discussion panel made up of London community energy practitioners and campaign groups who will explore the realities and future of community energy in London.

5th July – ‘Open space’ – energy advice session (Brunei Gallery, SOAS, 6-9pm)

An informal and welcoming capacity-building session with drinks and snacks: Whether you just want to learn about your local community energy group, start one of your own or find out how your existing group can scale up its operations, this is the place for you!

TBC – ‘Community Energy Hackathon – developing financial models for community rooftop solar post FiT’

We hope to welcome community energy modellers, academics, policy and finance experts, to join us for an afternoon of putting our brains together to help ensure the sector remains nimble, responsive and able to make the most of the opportunities presented by the end of the FiTs. Further details will be posted at www.communityenergy.london

2.Full details on the England-wide Community Energy Fortnight 2018 can be seen here:

https://www.ukcec.org/about-CEF

3.Community Energy London (CEL) was formed in 2017 and is an informal network of people and organisations with an interest in supporting the development of community energy projects across the capital.

CEL members have provided guidance and training on fuel poverty alleviation; have developed, fund raised and installed renewable energy generation projects such as solar PV and anaerobic digestion plant (AD); and worked on energy efficiency projects from insulation to high efficiency LED lighting.

CEL provides a route for groups to link up and share experiences, resources, best practice and skills gained through the development and delivery of their projects.

CEL also actively campaigns policy makers industry and wider stakeholders on the benefits for community energy, and worked closely with the Mayor of London in helping establish the London Community Energy Fund in October 2017.