The UK government, through the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, released two key reports this July.
The first was the call for evidence on the future for small-scale low-carbon generation. In this they highlight the value of co-locating generation and demand, the role of storage, and the prospect of community projects. They use Project SCENe as a case study that is demonstrating these things. See page 16 for this.
This is a key opportunity to evidence to government the extra impact that community energy projects can have in delivering vital energy and sustainability solutions.
The second much anticipated key report was their consultation on the Feed-In Tariff Scheme. It sets out the proposal to close the tariff for both small-scale electricity generation and exporting. This means a full closure of the Feed-In Tariff Scheme, with the end-date for receiving this being 31 March 2019. The report is here and highlights the value of small-scale renewable energy generation for affording the public reduced energy prices and a stake in the transition to a low-carbon economy. It also highlights how such transitions intimately depend on everyday behavioural change, such as the taken-for-granted ways we habitually use energy, and that such changes will be influenced by the public having a greater role in the energy sector. The public are also increasingly showing a desire for a transition to renewables and to be a key part of it. The BEIS Public Attitudes Tracker, for instance, shows public support for renewables is at an all time high with 85% of the British public in strong support, and the numbers of the public benefiting from small-scale generation exceeding expectations with over 800, 000 installations below 5MW and a marked increase in individual and shared public ownership and participation. It also shows that school and community energy projects are vital to increasing such transitions, with 37.6 MW being supported by the FiT scheme. In a post-subsidy world however, demonstrator projects like SCENe and smart consumers will be key.