Totnes is a community investment hotspot

In Ethex’s 2015 Positive Investing Report, South Devon came fifth nationally for community investment with Totnes accounting for more than half of that with Tresoc’s share capital and Totnes Weir hydro bond investment. We are a community who puts its money where its mouth is!  Yay!  Nationally this past year, 75 new share offers raided £36m, bringing the total invested to £157m, a growth of 29%.

Is community energy an inconvenience?

Regen’s excellent SW Community Energy Day of Action on 16th October triggered 30 meetings between community energy groups and businesses in the South West and their MPs.  A full list is available here. Community Energy England’s new report contains some excellent facts and figures, also.  For instance, of the £58 million in investment lined up over the next 2 years, £45 million is at risk from FIT review changes and of the £180 million intended for investment in renewable energy in the medium term, 90% now unlikely to go ahead.  This has been picked up in the Guardian and regional press.  Tresoc MD, Ian Bright was quoted in Tuesday’s Western Morning News: “… it rather feels as if the Government is actively promoting nuclear and fracking and considers us an inconvenience”.

The FIT review consultation period closes on 23 October and we’ll see if anyone’s listening. We can only hope that local government thinks for itself.

Time to stand up and be counted

On 29 November, the day before world leaders converge for the UN climate summit in Paris, people will come together again in the streets for the global People’s Climate March. Plymouth Energy Community has set up a ‘Stand up for Community Energy’ bloc and hopes to convene as many community energy groups as possible. They have set up a Facebook event for this (called ‘Stand up for community energy bloc @People’s Climate March), its linked to the main Facebook event page (and Friends of the Earth are adding it to the ‘bloc’ section of the new event website: http://climatejusticejobs.org.uk/.) Details on where to meet other groups prior to the march to follow… They have arranged a coach from Plymouth to London (with pick up/drop off at Exeter Services) for £25 per person return.  Page on their website for info and booking is here: http://www.plymouthenergycommunity.com/events/peoples-climate-march.

Unblocking the UK Community Energy Revolution

The Government is proposing changes to the rules and regulations that govern the co-operative structures that are most suited to deliver community energy in the UK.  Although this doesn’t affect us directly, the FCA is challenging the very foundations of co-operative endeavor, whereby capital raising and profit distribution go hand-in-hand with the realisation of social mission.  Community Energy England have produced a briefing – backed by national orgs including CPRE – that highlights the main actions that are required to get the UK’s community energy revolution back on track.  Please download and read it and write to your MP.

Renewables benefit both rich and poor

The World Future Council’s new handbook shows how forward-looking communities around the world are already moving away from reliance on fossil fuels and generating their own power with 100% renewables – while also becoming more prosperous and creating jobs.  The report, How to Achieve 100% Renewable Energy‘, is released ahead of the UN Climate Summit in New York tomorrow, when the UN Secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon, will call on world leaders to make new commitments to cut fossil fuel use.  Read an overview in this article in The Ecologist.