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CSE’s pioneering community engagement approach in action

a community engagement workshop. People are sat in a hall being spoken to about renewable energy potential in their community.

The communities team at the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) will share our proven “bottom-up” approach to community engagement to inform renewable energy planning and policy in Wales.

Delivering renewable energy in a fair, just and collaborative way is the focus of new work commissioned by the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales (NICW).

Using CSE’s Future Energy Landscape community engagement approach, the CSE team will collaborate with the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) and Dulas. Together, we’ll demonstrate how to engage with communities to ensure they feel valued in conversations about renewable energy generation in their local area.  

CSE’s renewable energy workshops support local communities to develop an informed agreement about the type, location and scale of renewable energy they might support at a parish scale. We offer workshops, taking people on a journey.

How can my area be more self sufficient in energy?

We provide impartial information on climate change and renewable energy and we support people to understand the facts. And we ask people how their area could be more self-sufficient in terms of renewable energy provision, and what type of projects (like onshore wind, solar, micro hydro, biomass etc) might be acceptable in what local places.

Neil Best is managing this scheme of work for CSE. “The way we produce and use energy needs to change; it’s one of the main causes of the climate emergency. But if we’re to roll out renewable energy at the scale needed to reach net zero targets, we need everyone to buy into changes.

“We need more nuanced public engagement processes to achieve this, otherwise we’ll see an understandable backlash from communities.

“We’re excited to share our Future Energy Landscape work which has already proved successful in other communities. It’s only by bringing people together to transform the energy system that we’ll achieve commitment to change. The challenge is big, but the changes are achievable”

NICW was established in 2018 as a non-statutory body to advise and make recommendations to Welsh Ministers on Wales’ economic and environmental infrastructure needs over the next five to 80 years.

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