PlanLoCaL videos

These are the 47 short films we made for PlanLoCaL which aims to support communities and groups who wish to set up community-scale renewable energy projects. Click on each section to expand it ...

Section 1
An introduction to the technologies

Solar power: an introduction

This introduction to solar energy explains how it can be used to heat water (solar thermal) or generate electricity (solar PV). Produced as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Biomass: an introduction

This introduction to biomass explains how it can be used to heat homes and generate energy, and tells you which biomass systems are suitable for smaller-scale community projects. Produced as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Wind: an introduction

This introduction to wind energy explains how the different types of wind turbine convert the energy in the wind to electricity, and where the most suitable places are to put them. Produced as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Hydro power: an introduction

This introduction to hydro power explains how hydro-electric systems transfer the energy of moving water into electricity, and what kind of river makes a good hydro site. Produced as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Heat pumps: an introduction

This introduction to heat pumps explains how the three types of heat pumps (ground-source, air-source and water-source) work, and where are the best places to locate them. Produced as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Energy from waste: an introduction

This introduction to energy from waste explains how renewable energy can be generated from the contents of our wheelie bins, farmyard slurry or from sewage waste. Produced as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Section 2
Which technology is best for you?

Solar power: things to consider before starting a project

Advice and guidance to help you take the first steps to setting up a solar project in your community. Produced as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Biomass woodland management: things to consider before starting a project

Advice and guidance to help you take the first steps to setting up a biomass woodland management project in your community. Produced as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Biomass boilers: things to consider before starting a project

Advice and guidance to help you take the first steps to setting up an individual biomass boiler project in your community. Produced as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Biomass district heating or an Esco: things to consider before starting a project

Advice and guidance to help you take the first steps to setting up a biomass district heating project or ESCo in your community. Produced as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Wind: things to consider before starting a project

Advice and guidance to help you take the first steps to setting up a wind project in your community. Produced as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Hydro power: things to consider before starting a project

Advice and guidance to help you take the first steps to setting up a hydro-electric project in your community. Produced as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Heat pumps: things to consider before starting a project

Advice and guidance to help you take the first steps to setting up a heat-pump project in your community. Produced as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Anaerobic digestion: things to consider before starting a project

Advice and guidance to help you take the first steps to setting up an anaerobic digester project in your community. Produced as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

How community projects come about

Tells the story of how various people from different areas were inspired to develop a renewable energy project for their community. Produced as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Section 3
Case studies

Solar PV on a community-scale in West Oxford

Tells the story of how West Oxford Community Renewables installed 550 solar PV panels on the roofs of a local school to benefit from the feed-in tariff. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Solar hot water at a swimming pool in Bovey Tracey, Devon

Tells the story of how Bovey Climate Action helped a community swimming pool install a solar thermal system for the pool's showers. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Biomass boiler for a church in Gulworthy Cross, Devon

Tells the story of how a biomass pellet boiler was installed at St Paul's Church in Gulworthy Cross, Devon, and helped to keep the congregation warm. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Biomass district heating for a small community in Sussex

Tells the story of how the residents of a small rural community in Sussex installed a woodchip-fired district-heating system - and how the local foresters provided the fuel. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Biomass district heating on a Barnsley estate

Tells the story of how Barnsley council converted coal boilers in two blocks of flats into a biomass district heating system and how they continue to manage it. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Woodfuel project for the communities of Spaunton and Appleton-le-Moors

Tells the story of how residents of two villages in the North York Moors have entered into partnership with a local landowner to manage their woodland for woodfuel. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Wind turbine for a community in Hockerton, Nottinghamshire

Tells the story of how the people of a Nottinghamshire village bought and installed a 225kw wind turbine, with feed-in tariff profits benefitting shareholders and paying for community projects. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Hydro-electric for a community in Settle, North Yorkshire

Tells the story of how a group in Settle, North Yorkshire, set up a hydro-electric project to generate renewable energy and profits for the community. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Heat pump for a community building in Woolfardisworthy, Devon

Tells the story of how a community building in Devon installed a ground-source heat pump as their latest renewable project to help save thousands of pounds. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Anaerobic digestion in Silloth, Cumbria

Tells the story of how farmers in Cumbria joined together to develop plans for an anaerobic digester plant, which will save them money and potentially provide heat. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Section 4
Rough guide to managing a community project

Managing a community project

Helps you to understand that good management is essential to successfully co-ordinating your community project, this film guides you through the process. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Section 5
Consulting with the community

Community-led planning for a low-carbon future

Explains how members of local communities are the best people to identify the priorities for their own future and introduces people to the idea of community-led planning. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Running a community consultation

Consulting meaningfully with the local community is a critical step in a successful renewable energy project and this film will help guide you through the process. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

A cautionary tale about consulting with the community

Things can go badly wrong if you don't listen to the views of your community and others around you, and this film shows the consequences of consulting too late. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Section 6
Becoming legally recognised

Becoming a legally recognised entity

It's important to have a legally recognised structure for your renewable energy project in order to manage funding, contracts, income and other matters, and this film gives you all the information you need to know. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Setting up a CIC or an IPS

Community groups expecting to generate an income are likely to use one of two legally recognised structures; community interest companies (CIC) or industrial and provident societies (IPS), and this film explains both. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Different legal structures work for different groups

Different legally recognised structures work for different types of community groups, and this film helps you to determine which one works best for yours. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Section 7
Dealing with the planning system

Statutory planning

This is a simple introduction to the national system of planning: explaining what it is, as well as what can be built and where. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Engaging with your local council

Developing a good relationship with officers at the local council who will help advise on and determine your plans, is important to driving your energy project forward - and this film explains who you'll come into contact with. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Getting planning permission

Understanding and navigating the process of getting planning permission for your renewable energy project can be complex, but this film will guide you through. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Listed buildings, heritage and landscape

Planning applications in and for heritage settings will have particular local and national rules to follow, and this film will help you understand what may be necessary. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Permits, permissions and planning

Getting planning permission for a community-based renewable-energy project can take time, require effort and cost money, and this film helps identify some of the pitfalls. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Section 8
Funding your project

Project finance

Securing funding for your sustainable energy project can be quite a challenge and this film helps to support you through the process. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Funding your project through a share issue

One method of raising the necessary cash for your renewable energy project is by inviting people to become shareholders and this film helps you through that process. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Traditional bank finance

One way of funding particularly large renewable energy projects is to borrow from a bank and establish a repayment plan, and this film helps you understand how. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Feed-in tariffs and other finance streams

Financial incentives, like the feed-in tariff and renewable heat incentive, are designed to encourage communities to generate money from renewable energy projects and this film helps you to understand how to take advantage. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Grants and other charitable funding

Effective fundraising campaigns could be the best way of raising the funds you need through local donations, and this film provides the guidance to do this. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

How Triodos Bank funds community projects

Triodos Renewables is an arm of Triodos Bank that specialises in the funding of renewable energy projects, and this film helps you to understand how they can help your project. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Funding and income streams

There are a variety of ways community-based renewable energy projects have accessed the funding and income to turn their proposals into reality, and this films looks at a number of them. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Section 9
The future, and reinvesting your profits

Re-investing your income

If your project is fortunate enough to generate an income stream from its renewable energy, this film helps you to understand how you can effectively re-invest your profits for the future. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.

Savings, profits and reinvestments

Many communities are fortunate enough to have generated an income stream from their renewable energy project and this film shows how some of these have re-invested their profits for the future. Made as part of CSE's PlanLoCaL project.