Members' newsletter 10th June 2016

It is with a heavy heart that I have received news that the High Court has ruled against Severndale Community Wind Turbine. Resilient Energy have provided an update below (click here for a reminder of the story behind this) and we will be discussing with them what happens next.

It's more important than ever that we step back and take time to celebrate what we have managed to achieve over the past year, as well as the tireless dedication of those working in the sector. Please take just two minutes to nominate an organisation or person for one of this years' Community Energy Awards.

Emma Bridge

Chief Executive

Community Energy England

High Court Ruling For Severndale Turbine

Resilient Energy Severndale is extremely disappointed to report that the High Court judgement of 10th June regarding the challenge to the planning permission for the Severndale community turbine was not in the Council’s and our favour. None of the parties in the case disputed the fact that the project would have significant local community benefits and there was no question as to the integrity of the applicant.

The planning permission, issued last September, was supported by a democratic vote of the Forest of Dean District council's planning committee with 10 votes in favour to 3 against with 1 abstention.  The community owned energy model has been recognised as an exemplar both nationally and within Europe and the public social, environmental and economic benefits are already proven at Great Dunkilns St Briavels, with the installed Alvington community turbine and two Stroud turbines (currently under construction) set to follow, improving on the level of benefits for their local communities.

However, focusing specifically on the community fund elements of the project approach in this case, the ruling concluded that these community benefits have no planning purpose and the weight afforded by the council in its balancing exercise was therefore deemed unlawful.

Please read on here.

Community Energy Awards

Pre-nominations are still open for the 2016 Community Energy Awards. You can nominate more than one group or individual, so if you have already nominated, or found it hard to choose one specific person from the great range of people who deserve acknowledgment of their hard work and achievements, please don't hold back nominations. Nominating could not be easier, it just takes two minutes. Be aware, the deadline is 24 June, so don't delay, nominate today. We still have some sponsorship packages available, please see here for details. 

Member Activity

Last month, community energy organisations from across Europe came for the General Assembly of REScoop – the European federation of renewable energy co-operatives. Paul Monaghan attended on behalf of Co-operative Energy and has written a blog about the event, also outlining future plans for the new Renewable Energy Directive. You can read his blog here

Repowering London and Low Carbon Hub have been awarded as joint winners in the Ashden Award for Sustainable Communities. The award was supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation; for the full listing of 2016 winners please see here


The briefing notes for the 'Bridging the information Gap' conference, run jointly by Community Energy England and Pure Leapfrog and kindly hosted by Linklaters are now available. Please see here for the notes and here for information on how you can take part in the follow up event. 

Ren21 have released their report 'Renewables 2016 Global Status Report'. The report explores the changes and growths of the renewable energy sector in the last year. For the full report and key findings please see here

Co-operatives UK has released its annual report on the size and performance of the co-operative sector. The report reveals there are 224 registered energy co-ops with a total turnover of £8.9m and 16,880 members. This has increased significantly over the last 5 years. However, uncertainty over government policy is already starting to impact, with 75% less energy co-ops registering from January to June 2016 than in the same period in 2015. For further details and to read about Bristol Energy Co-operative's activities click here.

Press Releases

Bristol Energy Cooperative have celebrated the start of work to their new solar farm at Lawrence Weston with Bristol's newly appointed Mayor, Marvin Rees. Please see the Press Release

Energy4All have released their Press Release, which details the wind farm in South Cumbria which Highland Winds Community Energy Farm raised funds for through a public share offer. 

Member Share Offers

The following members currently have Share Offers available:
  • Bristol Energy Cooperative is looking to raise £5m through bonds and a share offer.
  • Southill Community Energy is aiming to raise £3m through withdrawable shares.
  • Low Carbon Hub have two products available; they are looking to raise £1.2m and £2.3m through withdrawable shares.
  • Brighton Energy Co-op are aiming to raise £1m through shares.
  • Halton Lune Hydro aim to secure £976,000 through their share offer. 
  • Greater Manchester Community Renewables are looking to raise £140,000 through shares.
  • Plymouth Energy Community have a withdrawable share offer open and are looking to raise £1,230,000.
  • Bath and West Community Energy are looking to raise £630,000 through withdrawable shares. 
  • Energise Barnsley have a transferable bonds offer open and are looking to secure £1,200,000.
  • Brent Pure Energy have a share offer open and are looking to raise £60,000.

For further details about each of these projects please see our website


We would like to welcome our new members:

Good Energy - an energy company who buy 100% renewable energy from over 1,000 sources across the UK.

Brent Pure Energy - a Community Benefit Society who offer organisations in their local area of North East London the opportunity to cut down on energy costs as well as carbon emissions. 

Stamford Community Energy - a Community Benefit Society who aim to develop community owned renewable energy projects in Stamford and the surrounding area. 


Member Events

SELCE will be debating the future of sustainability with Jonathon Porritt on 19th June in London. For more information on 'Never Mind The Brexit: let's get serious about a sustainable future' see here

Low Carbon Hub are hosting a garden party in Oxford on 28th June to celebrate their Ashen Award. To RSVP please see here.

Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network are hosting a variety Midsummer Feasts in the area events across June. For more information please see here.

The Renewable Energy Association will be hosting their conference, titled 'Decentral: Transforming our energy system' and their Awards on 16th June. For further information please see here.

Third Party Events

We will be speaking at the  British Hydropower Association Summer Forum and Exhibition on 23rd June 2016. For more information please see here.

BRE are hosting a Networking Breakfast on 15th June in St Austell. For more information and bookings please see here
Do you have an upcoming event? Email us
Other News 

As it’s a leap year, the 2016 solstice falls on the 20th June. Mongoose Energy and Ethex would like to use the community power of our solar members to highlight this important day in the calendar. We’re asking the sector to work together using the hashtags:
  • #SolsticeSolar - to help raise awareness of the great number of community energy companies among those who already follow (or have invested in) just one or two schemes
  •  #Solstice - to help raise awareness of the CE sector among the general public
 Similarly, if you have set up roof installations for schools, for community centres or for churches, please pass on the message as the more we use these tags on the day the greater the effect for all in the industry.

DECC has published an open consultation to review support for Anaerobic Digestion and Micro-Combined Heat and Power under the Feed-in Tariffs scheme. Proposals include that FiTs for small to medium sized AD plants (those producing 250-500kWe) be cut by 27% by January 2017. The consulttaion deadline is 7th July; for more information please see here


Don't forget that Big Energy Saving Network, Horizon 2020, as well as Bristol Community Energy Fund still have funding opportunities available. 
Please refer to our website for further details of funding opportunities. 

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