Government Hails Local Community Energy Project

Brighton Energy Co-operative was praised in Parliament by a Government minister today following the launch of its first community-owned renewables scheme.

Responding to a question from Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, congratulated the Co-op on the launch of the pioneering solar project, which took place on Wednesday (16 July).

Caroline Lucas said:

"The Brighton Energy Co-op is one of this city's great success stories, and as a long standing supporter, I was delighted to join the team on Wednesday to help launch its first community-owned solar energy project.

"I was also pleased that the Secretary of State today joined me in congratulating the inspirational organisation for getting this exciting new venture off the ground, helping to put Brighton at the forefront of green energy innovation.

"However, I was disappointed that Ed Davey failed to offer any assurances that the Government's forthcoming reform of the electricity market will recognise the huge potential for community renewable energy projects here and across the UK.

"The Coalition has pledged to ‘support community ownership of renewable energy schemes', yet it is continuing to sideline such schemes in its overall energy strategy, which seems to be written by - and for - the Big Six energy companies.

"In countries like Germany, community ownership of the grid has played a key role in allowing renewables and energy efficiency to flourish - unlike here in Britain where the grid is privately owned and controlled.

"The Government must make it easier for co-operatives like Brighton Energy Co-op, housing associations and local authorities to generate their own energy and to own their own grid, so that we can reduce our dependency on the Big Six, tackle high bills and reduce carbon emissions."

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