windmill on grass field during golden hour
Photo by Karsten Würth on Unsplash

Every so often a genuinely transformative idea emerges. Community energy is one such idea.

Community energy provides the opportunity to transform our relationship to the energy system – both by moving away from fossil fuels and creating a more pluralised ownership form.

Community energy comes in many forms – helping people generate and store renewable energy. The energy generated can come from wind, solar or hydro power – meaning it can be installed and produced in either urban or rural settings. It has been particularly effective in enabling remote and poorly connected communities to produce energy using the natural environment – such as in the Highlands & Islands of Scotland.

It has the power to not only deliver long-term energy generation but also create a new wave of energy owners — allowing local communities to take control of their local energy assets. As part of Labour’s new Local Power Plan, GB Energy will work to build and develop new energy generation capacity with local authorities and community groups in every region of the UK. Backed by the largest ever investment into community energy, the new projects will generate up to 8GW of renewable energy – the equivalent to three brand new nuclear power stations. And vitally it will create one million new owners of renewable energy – helping to create a more plural, democratic energy system.

Creating new owners will be important in helping raise awareness of the needs and benefits of the energy transition for net zero. It will provide people with a greater connection to the energy system – which presently feels remote and unaccountable. By creating greater ‘buy in’ from communities up and down the country, we can all work together to advert climate change.

That’s why we are so excited to share the commitment for community energy growth in Labour’s Local Power Plan. If you want to be at the front of the community energy revolution and get involved with community energy projects, then visit Community Energy England for more information.