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Green energy bosses call on government to chop red tape for renewable power projects | Science | News

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Those that have invested in nearby wind and solar farms want law changes to let electricity generators to change into local suppliers.

Tom Parkinson, of Westmill Solar Co-operative – the primary fully community-owned onshore wind farm within the south of England – said the sector needs a “level playing field”.

The scheme in Swindon, Wilts, which incorporates a solar park, has greater than 2,000 members who profit from local electricity generation.

Tom said: “We’re viewed as a Cinderella a part of the sector in that we do good, we will add a bit, but we’re underestimated in how critical a link we’re. We don’t need that much support, only a level playing field.”

He said there are “regulatory constraints” on their ability to provide in addition to the way in which networks charge. Tom added: “They don’t really credit the undeniable fact that it’s cheaper to provide anyone five miles away than to pump it miles and miles down the road to someplace else. So all their charging systems are designed for long distance big suppliers.”

Community-owned energy projects sell their power to a national supplier because they’re unable to provide it themselves. The initiatives also tackle issues corresponding to improving transport connections, while the income may very well be used to fund nearby projects.

A report by Aquatera Ltd found Scotland’s community-owned wind farms provided on average 34 times more profit payments to local communities than privately-owned wind farms. The returns from community-owned projects average £170,000 per installed megawatt a 12 months compared with the industry standard of £5,000.

Steve Shaw, of campaign group Power for People, said: “When low cost, home-produced energy has never been more vital, the UK finds itself far behind other countries in the quantity of small-scale renewable energy we generate.”

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