solar panels on green field
Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash

The last few years have shown the vital need for radical change to our energy system, in order to tackle the seismic energy challenges we face as a society. Whether it’s the increasing threat of climate change, rising energy prices for fossil fuels or weakening energy security from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is clear we must move rapidly towards a renewable energy future.

At the Co-operative Party, we believe community energy must be central to the transformative agenda for renewable energy. We cannot simply recreate the status quo which has left people with sky high bills and energy insecurity. Community energy provides the opportunity to empower people as renewable energy owners – with the ability to generate, store and control their own clean energy.

That’s why we are delighted to see community energy form a key part of Labour’s new mission to make Britain a clean energy superpower. Labour will launch a new Local Power Plan that puts community energy at its heart. Labour’s new publicly owned energy company, GB Energy, will be a key facilitator in growing the community energy sector – working with local communities and local authorities to build clean energy in villages, towns and cities. New community energy initiatives will include onshore wind, solar and hydro projects – which provide communities with the opportunity to own new renewable energy sources in their direct locality. The Local Power Plan will make available up to £600m in funding for local authorities and up to £400m low-interest loans each year for communities.

As long-term campaigners for community energy, the Co-operative Party are delighted to see a commitment to providing record funding for community energy growth. Labour’s Local Power Plan will be by far the largest public investment into community energy in history – far surpassing the previous Rural Community Energy Fund which ended in spring 2022.

Our Co-operation Live event today will discuss Labour’s ambitious plans to become a clean energy superpower and how community energy can play a transformational role in achieving this. Come join us at 6pm Wednesday to hear from Co-operative Party General Secretary Joe Fortune, Sara Grimes of Bath & West Community Energy and Duncan Law of Community Energy England.