The UK government has launched a £10m fund to help urban and rural communities develop local renewable energy projects. The Community Energy Fund will open to applications in the early autumn and the money will help to kickstart developments including small-scale wind farms and rooftop solar partnerships, as well as battery storage, rural heat networks, electric vehicle charging points, and fuel poverty alleviation schemes. All of the projects will be proposed, designed and owned by local people said the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ). “Local communities are at the heart of our plans to boost our energy security and grow the economy.
The Community Energy Fund for England will empower communities to do just that,” said Minister for Nuclear and Networks Andrew Bowie. “With it, they’ll be able to drive forward innovative energy projects that will have a lasting positive impact, bringing costs down, building stronger communities, and securing clean energy for generations to come. “Importantly, these energy projects could expand beyond local areas by attracting further investment from the private sector, in turn inspiring other communities to power their area with energy from England.” Whether in a remote village or city neighbourhood, it is hoped the developments will deliver families and business with affordable, secure and clean home-grown energy, while helping households manage their energy consumption to bring down costs and reduce fuel poverty. Promoting local growth, surplus money generated from the schemes can go directly back to the community through funding local projects such as community gardens and youth employment groups said DESNZ. The department added the fund will act as a catalyst for attracting private investment to scale up projects further down the line, supporting high-quality jobs and growth in the area.
In turn, this will help deliver on the government’s ambitions to restore optimism and pride in local communities as we build a better future across the country. As with the Rural Community Energy Fund, the new fund will be delivered through Local Net Zero Hubs said DESNZ, which support local authorities to develop net zero projects and attract commercial investment.
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