Tuesday November 4th 2014
Local residents could be offered the opportunity to buy shares in new wind farms, solar farms and hydro power stations, under new approved guidelines by the government.
According to BBC News, ‘a stake in a local energy business could cost from just £5, and the industry says it could generate an annual return of between 6% and 9%.’
The aim of this new scheme, developed by the renewable industry alongside community groups, is to reduce the amount of local opposition to renewable energy development.
‘The Shared Ownership Taskforce’ plan draws inspiration from similar programmes taking place in Denmark which have been running for more than two decades.
According to a government survey, more than 70% of people in the UK nationally say they like wind farms, however, the proximity of the wind farms often provokes a different response and the farms are frequently considered a blot on the landscape.
The new taskforce plan insists that any new applications entering the planning system must offer to sell between 5 and 25% of their business to locals in the form of directly-owned shares, crowd-funding or debentures.
Chief Executive of the Renewable Energy Association, Nina Skorupska, welcomes the plan. She told BBC News:
“Elsewhere in Europe this is commonplace, so we’re very pleased the UK is also working towards this vision of a more open energy market.”
UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, also promotes the new scheme, saying:
“Community energy is revolutionising renewable energy development in the UK, and shared ownership will offer people the opportunity to buy in to the green energy that their own communities are producing.”