Third of Public Would Invest in Community Energy if They Could

ABOUT a third of people in the UK would invest in local renewable energy projects if there were available opportunities.

Schemes such as local wind and solar farms were popular when people could put small amounts of their own money in and see the benefits directly, according to a poll by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on UK energy policy.

This should be pleasing to the government who has announced several incentives including a £multi-million pot offering loans of up to £150,000 to local organisations for community renewable energy projects

The lump sums will also encourage local people to engage with renewable energy and enable them to discover the benefits renewables bring to communities.

The survey also showed that 51% of people believe the government should support the construction of more renewable energy sources, and a quarter would invest in energy bonds, to support and invest in renewable energy and nuclear projects elsewhere in the UK.

A spokesperson from said: “If you look at countries like Germany and Denmark, 20% of their renewable energy comes from community projects. It is nowhere near that figure here. The figures show that obviously people really like the idea of renewable energy when it is community lead, and even want to get involved. This should be encouraged and we are looking forward to seeing more renewable energy produced by local groups.”

Almost two thirds (64%) of respondents said they were concerned about possible blackouts, and a huge 93% were worried about higher electricity and gas bills.
The respondents were quizzed on what types of technology they would favour to secure future energy supplies. Renewable energy sources like solar, wave and tidal power were the most popular, with 51% of people saying the government should provide more support for these projects.

43% said there should be more support for offshore wind farms, 31% for onshore wind farms; while as few as 8% supported more gas-fired power stations.

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