Tax breaks gone, FIT’s on the Floor, Subsidy for Gas and Nuclear. What future for community energy?

The small pelton turbine in the National Slate Museum in LLanberis. (1930's) No such thing as a new idea. The Coop shop in the village and the quarry hospital were all built with what we would now call crowd source funding. Let it carry on!

The small pelton turbine in the National Slate Museum in Llanberis. (1930’s) No such thing as a new idea. The Coop shop in the village and the quarry hospital were all built with what we would now call crowd source funding. Let it carry on!

Despite everything it looks like no mater how much adversity is thrown at community energy the thing wont die! In my area it’s actually growing. Came home last night to the fantastic news that two of the latest community energy projects we are working with have now passed a combined share offer investment of over £470,000 and we have two weeks to go! People with no links to Panama want to make their communities a better place, invest in the right things and earn a little interest (up to 5%) in doing so. This really does maintain my faith in people. Most of the shares are in the £1k area which shows you the number of people involved in these two new community businesses. Only two weeks to go and looking good

www.ynniogwen.cymru

www.ynnipadarnperis.org 

With FIT’s in the doldrums and some seriously eye watering subsidies being offered to foreign investors in anything bar renewables it’s an interesting Government we have. I read with a wry smile that Good Energy have recently  promised a subsidy free wind farm in Cornwall with opening for local people to invest in it (Story here) Looks like they will need to ‘up’ the subsidy on coal and gas to match this. But then the Government are pulling the rug on this and many more of this ilk with the changes in the planning system in England to make sure this form of development has the maximum hurdles. Unless its fracking of course and then you can’t really object through the planning system! Funny old world. Feels like dark forces are at work again.

Back to the good news. Shares flying out of the doors. Mostly local people are investing (90% of the investors) with a few from Northern Ireland and England. We have a meeting today to see how we close the share offer in Llanberis early as we think we will ‘sell-out’ (we hope in the coming week and then Ynni Padarn Peris will be supporting Bethesda with its share offer for the remaining week or so. The crowd at work again!

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2 Responses to Tax breaks gone, FIT’s on the Floor, Subsidy for Gas and Nuclear. What future for community energy?

  1. andy@exeter says:

    With FITs for MW scale PV and wind down to 0.87 p/kWh and 0.86 p/kWh (decreases of 85% and 65%) I am amazed that community energy groups are able to attract investors. Small and medium scale biomass is also due to be curbed under the current RHI consultation with the proposed shift to a flat rate for all scales. We should also remember that in scrapping the ten year commitment to Zero Carbon Homes George Osborne also got rid of the ‘Allowable Solutions’ mechanism which, although far from perfect, provided another potential income source for community schemes. Credit to them all, I just hope that their business models can stack up in the future. We are some way from the ‘community energy revolution’ that was promised not so long ago but seems to flourish in places like Germany.

    Unfortunately I suspect that the the concerns about energy spending are driven by dogma and support for the Big Six, rather than the need to keep within the artifically imposed limits of the Levy Control Framework (LCF), the management and mechanisms of which appear to be a closely guarded secret.*

    All the ‘environmental and social obligation costs’ comprise an estimated at 7% of a typical dual fuel bill (around £90 a year), by contrast repeated tinkering in energy policy has created considerable uncertainty for investors and one firm estimates the cost of this policy uncertainty and inconsistency at £3.14bn per annum since the last election**, or an extra £120 a year on each household bill.

    Meanwhile the Capacity Market has been used to procured 650 MW of new diesel-driven capacity at a cost of about £175m***.

    Sigh.

    * http://www.carbonbrief.org/levy-control-framework-unanswered-questions
    ** Energy and Climate Change Committee, Investor confidence in the UK energy sector, Third Report of Session 2015–16, (February 2016).
    *** http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/dec/11/diesel-farms-built-subsidies-national-grid- auction

  2. andy@exeter says:

    With FITs for MW scale PV and wind down to 0.87 p/kWh and 0.86 p/kWh (decreases of 85% and 65%) I am amazed that community energy groups are still able to attract investors. Small and medium scale biomass is also due to be curbed under the current RHI consultation with the proposed shift to a flat rate for all scales. We should also remember that in scrapping the ten year commitment to Zero Carbon Homes George Osborne also got rid of the ‘Allowable Solutions’ mechanism which, although far from perfect, provided another potential income source for community schemes. Credit to them all, I just hope that their business models can stack up in the future. We are some way from the ‘community energy revolution’ that was promised not so long ago but seems to flourish in places like Germany.

    Unfortunately I suspect that the the concerns about energy spending are driven by dogma and support for the Big Six, rather than the need to keep within the artifically imposed limits of the Levy Control Framework (LCF), the management and mechanisms of which appear to be a closely guarded secret.*

    All the ‘environmental and social obligation costs’ comprise an estimated at 7% of a typical dual fuel bill (around £90 a year), by contrast repeated tinkering in energy policy has created considerable uncertainty for investors and one firm estimates the cost of this policy uncertainty and inconsistency at £3.14bn per annum since the last election**, or an extra £120 a year on each household bill. Indeed the cost of the Green Deal fiasco alone is said to £240m (£17,000 for each home that was treated). Meanwhile the Capacity Market has been used to procured 650 MW of new diesel-driven capacity at a cost of about £175m***.

    Sigh.

    * http://www.carbonbrief.org/levy-control-framework-unanswered-questions
    ** Energy and Climate Change Committee, Investor confidence in the UK energy sector, Third Report of Session 2015–16, (February 2016).
    *** http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/dec/11/diesel-farms-built-subsidies-national-grid- auction

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