More Community Energy Projects To Get Support Under Feed-in Tariffs

Aspiring communities across the nation will be able to receive Feed-in Tariff (FITs) payments for the clean green energy generated by larger community energy projects, under new plans set out by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Projects such as solar PV on school roofs or panels on libraries, community owned wind turbines and hydro power from local streams could all benefit under the proposed new rules.

The FITs scheme pays householders, businesses and communities for the electricity generated by a range of renewable energy technologies including solar PV, wind, hydro projects and anaerobic digestion. There is also money on offer for excess power exported back to the grid.

Support for community renewable projects over 5MW is currently available under the Renewables Obligation (RO). In response to feedback from community groups on the type of financial incentive that works best for them, DECC is planning to increase the threshold for community projects under FITs to enable larger projects to benefit.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

“The Coalition is determined to drive a step change in the deployment of community energy.

“We want to help consumers, businesses and communities generate more of their own clean, green electricity locally, becoming less reliant on centralised power generation.

“The expansion of our reformed Feed-in Tariff will encourage even more communities to get on board.”

The Government has already supported hundreds of community energy projects up and down the country and last week opened a £15million Rural Community Energy Fund to applications, to help with the cost of feasibility studies and seeking planning permission.

DECC is also keen to explore what needs to be done to kick start even more projects across the UK, with a call for evidence currently underway and the UK’s first community energy strategy to be launched in the Autumn.

The proposed changes to the FITs rules will be made as part of the Energy Bill process. Once this Bill comes into force, the Government will consult on what this will mean in practice for community schemes.

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