Bristol Community Energy fund has invested nearly half a million into various small scale renewable energy projects across the city.
The fund, which works to provide grant and loan funding to energy projects across the city, was created in 2015 when Bristol City Council secured initial funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Bristol’s Community Energy Fund has delivered £450,000 of funds to more than 50 community energy projects, including small-scale renewable projects, behavioural change campaigns and skills programmes.
Successful grant applications included the funding of solar panels to support a mobile sensory environment for children with disabilities, a solar panel making workshop for young people and feasibility studies for a hydro-electricity station.
Among the programmes to receive recent funding are around five megawatts (MW) of community-owned solar panels on public buildings and land and also investments in Bristol Energy Co-operative’s community-owned solar farm in Lawrence Weston, which is on council land.
While working to create a cleaner, greener energy system, community projects payback investor shareholders and then use the surplus profit to create funds to help deliver energy efficiency schemes for local homes and biodiversity projects.
Cllr Kye Dudd, Bristol’s Cabinet Member for Energy, Transport and the Green New Deal said: ‘We’re very proud to be able to work collaboratively with amazing volunteers and communities; together we’re making Bristol a cleaner, greener and healthier city.’
Caroline Bird, Chair of Bristol Energy Network, also said: ‘Bristol City Council is committed to working with communities across the city to address energy issues.’
‘Despite central government support in this area being virtually non-existent, the council team has continued to work with Bristol Energy Network and our diverse community energy groups, investing financially and supporting community groups to navigate planning and policy, and identifying public buildings and land as suitable sites for renewable energy generation schemes.
‘Importantly, they are always open to listening to the community and working with them to maximise benefits and they are keen to share their learning and show other councils what can be achieved.’
In related news, UK100, the network of mayors and council leaders, will team up with Siemens to try and bring forward green energy projects worth over £100bn.
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