The Co-op Community Energy Challenge: wrapping up

How have our pioneering groups got on?

2 September 2014

The Community Energy Challenge was a bold initiative by The Co-operative that supported seven community groups who had ambitions to develop sizeable renewable energy projects that would benefit their communities.

Their ambitious projects ranged from a wind farm on a Scottish island to solar-enabled motorway noise barriers in Oxfordshire. The groups were given 18 months of support on lots of different aspects of project development.

18 months on, the projects have all come a long way. These large renewable energy projects take a great deal of time and effort to set up, so there aren't quite any turbines turning or boilers burning yet, but some of the groups are very close to seeing their vision become a reality.

CSE's Martin Holley, who oversaw the project, said: "Community energy is still not widely implemented in the UK, and the Community Energy Challenge shows why. The groups who took part faced many hurdles along the way, enough to put off all but the most determined individuals and organisations.

"Nonetheless, we've seen many successes and achievements, with each group helping to break down barriers and raise awareness of community energy. It’s been great to work with all of these groups, and we would like to congratulate each one on their efforts and wish those with ongoing projects every success for the future."

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