Leading sustainability organisations and businesses call for clear commitment from UK government to save the UK community energy sector

10 September 2015.

650 delegates from 72 countries attending a major international conference on permaculture held in London this week, backed calls from key energy entrepreneurs attending the event for the UK government to show commitment to community-owned renewable schemes.


Howard Johns, author of Energy Revolution – a book about successful community energy initiatives around the world to be published next week said today:


“The Government's latest proposals to cut the Feed in Tariffs will as currently suggested do irreparable damage to Britain's rapidly expanding renewable energy industry.


“In particular, many groups of hard working people striving with their neighbours and friends to develop and build local renewable energy systems will be stopped in their tracks at the eleventh hour by these careless proposals.”


Emma Bridge, CEO of Community Energy England added: “If the Government's community energy strategy launched in January 2014 is to be worth the paper it is written on, then the Government must retain workable incentives that support the community energy sector.”


Commenting further, Adrian Ramsay, CEO of The Centre for Alternative Technology added:

“We know that it is technically possible by 2030 for the UK to create a prosperous economy that generates zero carbon emissions by using putting a major focus on energy efficiency measures and by using 100% renewable energy. It is paramount in this year of key climate negotiations that the UK government shows initiative and leadership to deliver this crucial objective.”



Notes to Editors

Permaculture is a holistic design framework for delivering sustainability at any scale.

The International Permaculture Conference is a biennial event, this year taking place in London, hosted by the Permaculture Association Britian. It is followed by a five day practical event (International Permaculture Convergence) for practitioners from around the world taking place in rural Essex.
Media queries: [email protected] Ryan Sandford-Blackburn


Howard Johns, is a community energy entrepreneur who founded Southern Solar and OVESCO – the first community owned PV power station in the UK, near Lewes in West Sussex.

He is available for interview. Tel: 07719181010.


On 27th August, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced a review of the Feed in Tariff (FiT) scheme set up in 2010 to promote small-scale renewables through ensuring householders, communities or businesses are paid a set tariff by electricity suppliers for the power their projects generate. In the latest proposals ministers have set out plans to rapidly reduce the value of the Feed in Tariff and phase it out completely perhaps as soon as January 2016. This is the latest in a series of recent announcements from DECC that seek to minimise renewable energy deployment. Figures vary but estimates made by the renewables sector suggest anything between 15 and 40 thousand jobs could disappear within a matter of months. For more information see www.communityenergyengland.org.
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Who’s Getting Ready for Zero? Published by the Centre for Alternative Technology on September 1st 2015 is a report that details over 100 scenarios from around the world where countries, regions and cities are preparing for the transition to a zero carbon future.
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