In response to the huge public and Parliamentary support for our campaign for more community renewable energy, the Government have just announced a new £10 million Community Energy Fund for England.
This is a very big success indeed. It is the first substantial action from Government to help community energy in over six years. The fund is intended to see many more community-run renewable generation schemes get off the ground.
Our collective efforts have turned things around and this is definitely a cause for celebration. My thanks to you for helping to make this wonderful success happen.
To recap, our campaign has brought the majority of the House of Commons – 325 MPs, including 128 Conservatives – on board in support of the Local Electricity Bill, which would enable community energy schemes to sell their power to local people.
We then used this support to see the Government’s Energy Bill amended in the spring, introducing two new clauses that were worded the same as the Local Electricity Bill. But the Government opposed these clauses and so intended to remove them. However, this risked them losing a House of Commons vote because of the remarkable amount of MP and public support we had gathered.
This led to Andrew Bowie promising Parliament in June that the Government would bring forward an alternative proposal to enable growth in community energy. He has kept his word.
Whilst we must call on our elected representatives and the Government to do much more to help stop the climate crisis and save the natural world, it is equally important to thank them fully and sincerely when they do take significant action that will help.
We are making plans on how to progress from here. Whilst the fund is very welcome, there is much that could still be done to see more community renewable energy across the UK.