A two-week initiative to showcase community owned renewable energy projects and energy saving schemes has been launched.
The Community Energy Fortnight consists of a number of events at existing projects to highlight the upsides of community energy as well as workshops to help people get involved.
They include a National Trust walking tour of hydroelectric projects in Snowdonia National Park, trips around wind farms in Oxfordshire and Glasgow and visits to solar and hydroelectric schemes in West Sussex, North Yorkshire and Derbyshire.
The scheme is run by the Community Energy Coalition, which was formed in 2011 to push for large-scale community energy by 2020. The group has more than 16 million members and is made up of a number of UK organisations including the National Trust, the Women’s Institute and the Church of England.
It has been gathering signatures for a petition calling for more government support of community projects. The petition, which has been signed by almost 60,000 people, will be presented to the Energy Secretary Ed Davey.
Patrick Begg, the Rural Enterprise Director at the National Trust said: “We know that when communities secure a stake in energy projects they are much more reassured that their own beautiful and fragile local landscapes and villages can embrace the proposals. Community energy can help empower local people to take control of their own energy futures and in a style that maintains and even enhances what makes local places special and cherished.”
The initiative has received support from TV presenter Michaela Strachan who said: “If you really care about doing your bit to save energy, don’t just think it’s someone else’s job, do something about it. Get together with like-minded people and make it happen yourselves.”