Community projects can slash household bills but the sector has ground to a halt in Britain – in contrast with schemes in Europe. The number of people generating their own power has almost flatlined, with only one new group formed in the UK last year, according to the body representing grassroots energy organisations. Cuts to subsidies for homeowners to install solar panels and a “hostile planning approach” that has in effect banned new wind turbines are behind the “wholesale decline”, Community Energy England (CEE) said in its 2018 State of the Sector report. Grassroots schemes can slash electricity bills in half at a time when the “big six” energy companies have raised their prices so that the average household is paying £1,150 to £1,200 a year. But setting up a project is risky, with the cost of installing solar panels or constructing turbines paid up-front, and nearly 30% of community energy groups saw some of their schemes fail last year, the report said.
Guardian 23rd June 2018 read more »