Decentralising the energy system in the UK is one of the great holy grails associated with developing systems that are sustainable, beneficial to the local economy, and use the resources we have in our areas intelligently.
For years now, cooperatives, small businesses and community organisations have swum against the tide to drive forward innovative approaches that bring local energy closer to a reality. Sometimes they have been fortunate enough to find external funding, and sometimes they have worked to generate significant local support for their efforts.
The West of England Combined Authority has announced the West of England Local Energy Scheme, which will distribute £500,000 of funding (provided by the European Regional Development Fund) for renewable energy micro-generation projects in development.
Open to all VAT-registered, legal entities in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire – this could kick start a good number of local energy initiatives in the region. The grant also comes with dedicated support from the West of England Energy Hub.