November 19, 2014
Proof that lobbying works
A slightly obscure but important development has occurred in the field of community owned renewables. The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change has been considering some additional support for communities, through changes to the incentive scheme. However DECC seemed unable to recognise that in Scotland, registered charities with trading subsidiaries is the way that many communities organise themselves in order to develop their projects. DECC’s intransigence presented a major threat to our sector’s access to the renewables market. Some sustained lobbying by CES and others looks to have done the trick.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary at Westminster Ed Davey MP has announced changes to the Community Energy Feed in Tariff which have resulted from the recent consultation on the current policy and guidelines around support for community energy projects. Rules produced by DECC – The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change – had previously prevented UK Charities and their wholly-owned trading subsidiaries of from benefiting from the Community Feed in Tariff.
Community Energy Scotland’s Nicholas Gubbins said ‘Community Energy Scotland has lobbied for this change for a long time. Ed Davey’s decision is very welcome indeed. It signals that DECC understands that all charities and their trading subsidiaries need to be included in the Community Feed in Tariff arrangements. Many of our members are charities formed as Companies Limited by Guarantee with trading subsidiaries to operate the wind or hydro schemes. This is a tried and tested legal set-up which ensures that renewable energy projects benefit local people and that all revenue generated has a positive effect on their communities.
Nicholas concluded ‘This change will ensure that more community energy projects have the certainty they need to proceed.’
Full announcement can be read here