Community renewables could lose out in Energy Bill

Small scale renewable energy projects run by communities could majorly lose out because of the Energy Bill. Experts believe the Contract for Difference proposed in yesterday’s draft Bill could give […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Small scale renewable energy projects run by communities could majorly lose out because of the Energy Bill.

Experts believe the Contract for Difference proposed in yesterday’s draft Bill could give larger energy generators an unfair advantage by giving them more payments for the energy they make.

This presents a real danger to community-led projects, according to Rebecca Willis, an independent researcher who has worked on reports for Co-operatives UK and the Green Alliance.

She told ELN: “EMR is so completely dominated by the politics of nuclear, people haven’t thought through the implications for community generators.

“There is easily the potential for 2GW of community generated renewable energy but you won’t get that with the policy we’ve got and the Energy Bill will only make it worse.”

Without more radical reform the way to counter the negative impact would be to separate the payments given to community sized schemes and larger plants, she suggested, in a way similar to the Feed-in Tariffs.

Proponents of smaller-scale projects point to the example of Germany, where around 20% of renewables are in community energy.