The Community Power Report: May in Review
Mümtaz Derya Tarhan
The Community Power Report
June 4, 2012
The Community Power Report spent a very busy May trying to catch up with all project and policy updates across the world. And this is exactly why I started this webpage in first place: to show the public, community groups, project developers, policy makers, academics, and everything in between that there are a lot of great things happening in this busy field. And through increased awareness, best practices, solidarity, experience-sharing and visibility, the community power power sector will become stronger and stronger by the day. This is the raison d’etre of The Community Power Report, and I am happy to announce that we have numerous projects in the making that will serve to establish and strengthen a global ‘community power’ community. Stay tuned people!
So, here are May’s main highlights on community-based clean energy initiatives from across the world;
A. Renewable Energy Co-operatives
Ordinary citizens are increasingly gathering around the co-operative ownership structure for developing renewable energy projects across the world. Some countries like Denmark and Germany are far ahead from others in this field (for instance in Denmark, 150,000 families are members of wind energy co-operatives that own over 3,000 turbines and provide 23% of Denmark’s energy), and are serving as examples to how co-operative ownership of renewable energy is economically beneficial, socially constructive and environmentally, well, that’s pretty much a given.
Community groups across the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia are building on the successes of their German and Danish counterparts and taking control of their own energy futures in a co-operative manner. Here are some project updates from May:
- Community Group in Fowey, UK is Seeking Consent for Seven Community-Owned Solar Electric Installations
- Bristol Energy Co-operative Launching A Community Share To Install Solar Panels
- Saddleworth Community Hydro Raised Over £120,000 To Meet Its Funding Goa
- Brighton Solar Co-operative Attracts Solid Investment Pledges Prior To Its Share Offer
- Morecambe Bay (MORE) Community Renewables Co-op Launches Share Offer (Lancaster, UK)
- Westmill Solar Co-op To Launch Share Offering for UK’s First Community-Owned Solar Park
B. Local Government Efforts
Not a day passes where we do not hear about a local government, especially from the United States, undertaking a renewable energy project in order to offset utility costs, reduce its carbon footprint and make good use of taxpayers’ dollars. While the technology of choice is generally Solar PV (which is becoming increasingly cost competitive), the location of the installation varies greatly; from community centre roofs to parking lots, local schools, etc.:
C. New Legislative Moves
Here are some of the new legislations that will impact local ownership of renewable energy in their respective legislative areas:
D. Renewables in the Education Sector
High schools, universities, community colleges. These institutions’ missions are to inform, inspire and to build a better future. So how could these institutions not make the environment a focal point of theirs? And how, if taking the environment seriously, could they not stress the importance of our energy generation and consumption choice for our environment? And what better way is there to make that statement through generating your own clean energy, while saving some money on your utility bill, and potentially (as in hopefully) spending those dollars on education programs?
E. Community Trusts
This model of ownership for renewable energy projects is becoming increasingly popular among community groups in the United Kingdom. Here are some examples:
For more information regarding community-based energy initiatives, an event calendar, a video archive and valuable resources, please make sure to visit The Community Power Report often. Also, join us on Twitter and Facebook for even more information!
Mumtaz Derya Tarhan
The Community Power Report