A publication from ResPublica, ‘Community Energy: Unlocking Finance and Investment’ (May 2014), shows us there is huge potential in the UK for local communities to develop and deliver alternative energy for their own use and to put back into the Grid.
At the time of the report just 0.4% of the energy requirements of the UK were being delivered this way but the report goes on to show scope for the sector to grow nearly 90 fold with the right infrastructure and support in place.
‘Key to achieving such outcomes will be engaging a wider society’ says the report but it also points to finance as a key requirement to delivering this growth. Interestingly, this is where another factor comes into play.
As with the banks, the ‘crowd’ are increasingly losing patience with the monopoly and abuse of power by major energy suppliers (pun intended). Crowdfunding could be a natural funding resource for supporting Community Energy and the report discusses this in some depth.
We will be watching this sector with interest.