Social and Economic Benefits of Community Energy Schemes
report produced by Shared Assets and the National Trust
Shared Assets and the National Trust, UK, 2014
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The Department for Energy and Climate Change is currently reviewing its policy towards community energy, seeking evidence of its benefits and a better understanding of the barriers to its development. In addition to its commitment to generate 50% of its own energy from renewable sources the National Trust has also been working with local communities to assist them in developing their own community renewables schemes, including the development of a small hydro project in the village of Abergwyngregyn, North Wales.
To inform the current debate the National Trust worked with 2012 Clore Social Fellow, Mark Walton to explore the social benefits that community scale renewables can deliver. The work was undertaken through interviews with 30 people involved in community energy generation, either as practitioners or as supporting figures, both inside and outside the Trust.
The report identifies many of the wider social benefits delivered by community renewables and how these can best be measured and multiplied.
It also examines some of the barriers faced by community renewables and highlights the positive role the National Trust can play as an enabler for local communities and an advocate for community energy. It includes a case study of the Abergwyngregyn project.