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Starting up, scaling up and spinning out

September 13, 2013

The Community Renewables Economy: Starting up, scaling up and spinning out – Jelte Harnmeijer.

This is a very interesting report from Respublica about how community energy schemes can become more commonplace, and the kind of policy environments needed to make that change. In this way, it is very supportive of the approach we are taking in Cambridgeshire, aiming to increase the amount of low carbon energy infrastructure in the county by facilitating access to finance, thus helping to improve energy security and minimise price increases by increasing competition in the energy market.

The report challenges councils to step up to the challenge of community renewables, proposing that local authorities are well placed to begin to both invest and financially benefit from community energy projects. It says local authorities should establish links with local housing associations, businesses and churches, as well as social finance organisations like Big Society Capital to explore these opportunities. Currently MLEI Cambridgeshrie is looking at investment in the County Council’s own assets, and also exploring options for retrofit of community owned buildings. Are partnerships with the community sector the next step for MLEI Cambridgeshire?

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