As a new report calls on the government to overhaul the “closed shop” energy market, the UK’s leading expert in community-owned renewable energy schemes is urging Devon residents to support new co-operatively-owned wind energy projects in North Devon and South Hams.
Energy4All, a not-for-profit organisation that facilitates and supports community ownership of renewable energy generation in the UK, says the study by social and economic think-tank ResPublica, is a positive step for all those who believe in co-operative solutions to climate change.
John Malone, development director at Energy4All, told the PRSD: “We very much welcome the report, which advises government to ‘embrace community schemes’ and warns that failure to support the community sector will have serious consequences on the government’s climate change, emissions and fuel poverty targets.
“The proposed co-operative will provide an opportunity for the people of Devon to contribute to this transformation of the energy market and to engage with the issues of climate change and energy insecurity.
“Devon is almost totally dependent on its neighbours for its electricity and this project offers the chance to begin to put that right in a way that benefits local people rather than major corporations. Co-operatives are democratically run on a one member, one vote principle, ensuring control by the ordinary members.”
The aim is for the new Devon Community Wind Co-operative to own and operate two medium sized wind turbines at Bratton Fleming in North Devon and at Higher Torr in South Hams. The two sites will each have an installed capacity of up to 1.5MW and are being developed by ClearWinds working in partnership with Energy4All.
The intention is that the whole project will be owned by the new co-operative which will offer the opportunity for residents and people living across Devon to purchase a stake and to receive annual share interest payments from the sale of the electricity generated by the turbines. The projects will also provide a fund for use on energy efficiency and climate change awareness projects in the local area.
• The Devon Community Wind Co-operative would welcome your support. If you are interested in supporting the wind energy projects, helping with the set-up of the co-operative, being involved in discussions about the community funds or simply would like to be kept informed then contact John Malone, development director at Energy4All on 01229 821028 or email email@example.com
(from a press release)