Report by Jinni King
On the 9-10th March I was delighted to be invited along to the Regen Community Energy Spring Gathering with SDCE. There were representatives from most of the community energy groups in Devon along with many from further afield. We also had representatives from Local Authorities and Western Power Distribution.
Over the two days we came together at Dartington Hall estate in an open space format, meaning we chose the topics to we wanted to discuss.
As a new member of SDCE I had much to learn and came away feeling almost overwhelmed by the breadth of knowledge and expertise shared by those present, and incredibly enthused by their infectious energy.
While the reductions in Feed in Tariffs have made Community Energy projects more challenging over recent years, there was certainly a feeling of hope as battery storage, local supply options, sustainable housing projects and buyback of existing solar and wind assets open up new opportunities for communities to invest in their energy provision, and receive investment back.
The scale of the positive feedback of Community Energy schemes was something I hadn’t quite grasped before the weekend. Renewable installations generate not only energy, but profits which feed into communities. These can be used to provide energy advice to those in need, bringing down energy demands in the community. They can be used for further community renewable installations, further reducing demand, and generating further profits. Which in turn can be reinvested. And on the cycle goes…
I’m looking forward to helping out in any way I can to help make the PL21 area as sustainable as possible, and encourage anyone with an interest to get in touch to find out more. I‘m so glad I did!