There are many sources of general help, technical and financial support available to community energy projects.
Is a non profit company with full time professional staff dedicated to the task of enabling new community energy groups. They have a proven track record of success; most recently providing legal and financial expertise to the Leominster Solar roof project. Further project share launches are imminent.
Sharenergy authored this excellent handbook for community led wind power projects, setting out the expected levels of work, where outside experts, and funding, will be needed. It also gives a realistic overview of social and political issues to expect, and proposes practical steps to mitigating opposition.
Energy Saving Trust www.est.org.uk
Is a government body dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing demand for unsustainable energy production. They provide advice on a range of energy matters to householders, businesses and other bodies. Their publication “Power in Numbers” makes the case for communities getting together to make effective projects at a bigger than household scale – anything from an insulation buyers group to a community wind farm
There are many other detailed practical publications available from EST, have a look around in the take action section of their website.
Click on the cover image to download a copy.
New Leaf www.herefordshirenewleaf.org.uk
New Leaf Sustainable Development Ltd is a community benefit company born from partnership working between Bulmer Foundation and Hereford Environment Partnership. Now a stand alone company it provides support and networking for all sustainability projects in the county and organises the annual h.energy celebration of renewable energy and energy saving activities around the county.
Herefordshire in Transition Alliance NewLeaf/HiTA
This is an informal umbrella group of Transition Town and other local sustainability projects. Contact your local group or visit the NewLeaf website for up to date HiTA news and activities.
Centre for Sustainable Energy www.cse.org.uk
This is an educational charity established to tackle issues around energy generation and use, with special interests of social justice and equity in energy policy. CSE works on a projects basis and is funded from a range of sources including charities and government. Reports on previous projects and research work are available from their comprehensive website, along with a range of introductory and detailed informative materials on energy generation and use. Recent work includes the Planning for Low Carbon Living ( PlanLoCaL ) series of training workshops and resource pack.
Community Energy Online www.ceo.decc.gov.uk/
HMGovernment Department of Energy and Climate Change has a range of schemes which are relevant to local community action. A lot of what is on offer is already available from local volunteer or funded experts, but it’s worth keeping an eye on what comes out of DECC, it may be a lead for funding or advance warning of important policy changes.
Herefordshire County Council
Herefordshire Council’s long term planning section have commissioned a report into Renewable Energy potential for the county. Whilst there are flaws in the brief, the methodology and the conclusions of the report it does offer a package of valuable data on energy use patterns and on the potential resource available to renewable energy technologies. The original report is available from;
A rigorous critique of the report has been prepared by Peter Linnell of Herefordshire Community REnewables
Local Energy Assessment Fund Report March 2012
Thanks to DECC/EST funding and the coordination and oversight by NewLeaf Herefordshire we have been able to produce this in depth study –
The report includes a simple method to test the resource shown on the Wardell Armstrong maps and eliminate false positives. In addition to technical issues it explores the social and political barriers facing start up community wind energy projects in the county, including appendices covering community engagement, the history of the local experience in Kington, and an edited summary of the opinion poll from the 2010 survey of county attitudes.
Reports of the work of other partner organisations in the NewLeaf LEAF project are available from the NewLeaf website.