LCCN Newsletter – Issue 69

Welcome to the 69th LCCN newsletter! These come to you regularly with updates on what the Network is doing, other developments and, if you tell us, what you’re doing. We’re keen to find contributors who could send us an update (monthly?) on whats happening in their region that may be of interest elsewhere. And please forward this to anyone who may be interested, reminding them that they can get their own copy at: www.lowcarboncommunities.net 


FITs again…
Most readers with an interest in communities and energy will be aware that DECC have now slashed the Feed-In Tariff for solar PV – as we wrote last week. It appears that this is already having significant impacts on various community projects who are (or were) in the process of raising funds for larger projects.
A Energy Saving Trust fact sheet ‘on the proposed changes to Solar PV Feed-in-Tariff rates’ is available here.

THANKS
 to all those who reacted to last week’s newsletter and filled in the survey of community energy projects – over 170 groups responded! This will provide valuable evidence for lobbying and discussions (see below). It also gives a fascinating picture of the diversity of community energy work – we are working on an analysis.

There is also now a government consultation ongoing (until 23 December) about the PV FITs review.
http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/meeting_energy/renewable_ener/feedin_tariff/fits_review/fits_review.aspx

A second consultation is to follow before the end of 2011 on the other technologies.


So what to do now?

There are various initiatives ongoing. A discussion at the Community Energy roundtable (hosted by FoE) last week agreed that the first thrust should be to seek to reverse this discussion during the consultation period.  A second focus should be to develop calls for a community tariff.
Various initiatives are focusing on the Prime Minister.  This makes sense, given the anti-renewables rampage being conducted by the Treasury which is leaving Greg Barker, the Minister responsible for the FITs with very little influence. He needs support from Mr. Cameron.

Following a meeting of the FITs coalition on Tuesday 1st, FoE have drawn up a letter to David Cameron which LCCN and others are supporting, to view the text click here.

Good Energy have also written to the PM re FITs and social housing. A copy of their letter, supported by LCCN is here.

Another letter campaign is at:
 http://www.transitionnc.org/node/105/2273#comment-2273

There’s an e-petition:
 http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20760 

Some instructive comments from business here:
http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2121327/solar-feed-tariff-review-reaction

and here: http://www.solarpowerportal.co.uk/blogs/coping_with_the_cuts_feed-in_tariff_fallout_5478/


Ben Tuxworth of Forum for the Future has contributed this to a US newsletter
http://www.grist.org/solar-power/2011-11-01-is-solar-britains-new-sunset-industry



Support the Day of Action: november 23rd

That’s the date being promoted by the ‘Cut Don’t Kill’ campaign from the Solar Trade Association so if you’re active and concerned plan your actions now – either focusing on Westminster or in your own area. FoE are planning to encourage MPs to visit local projects. We’ll have more on this next week.


A Community Tariff

Discussions spread last week on the idea of a community tariff, where not-for-profit initiatives could be paid a higher rate than normal domestic work.   DECC seem keen to support this: the consultation says “ We are also considering whether more could be done to enable genuine community projects to be able to fully benefit from FITs”. One key challenge will be to work out just what projects and organisations world qualify. Watch this space for more information!

Renewables work!
Yes I know you know…. But there’s an excellent new report from WWWF – ‘Positive Energy: how renewable electricity can transform the UK by 2030’ which  shows that it is perfectly feasible for renewables to deliver at least 60% of the UK’s electricity demand by 2030:
http://www.wwf.org.uk/what_we_do/tackling_climate_change/renewable_energy/?uNewsID=5356



Is localism delivering for climate change?

We are delighted to introduce Green Alliance’s new report:

I
s localism delivering for climate change?

Emerging responses from local authorities, LEPs, LNPs and neighbourhood plans

Read the report’s executive summary here

Download the whole report here

Key findings:
Our report explores whether local authorities are continuing to work on climate change, how action is being encouraged and what potential local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), local nature partnerships (LNPs) and neighbourhood planning offer for strengthening local action on climate change?
We interviewed a range of key stakeholders and ran a survey on local authorities and climate change. Our survey found that:

  • 37% are deprioritising climate change or state that it was never a priority
  • 35% remain firm in their commitment to climate change
  • 28% are narrowing their ambitions to focus on reducing emissions from their estate, abandoning wider work

LEPs, LNPs and neighbourhood plans all offer potential but lack the resources to seize their opportunities.

More information on the LCCN website here.

Brighton Energy Cooperative launches one of the UK’s largest community-owned, solar energy schemes
Brighton Energy Co-operative is to launch a pioneering project that will generate community-owned green power in Brighton & Hove and fund local projects to help people reduce their energy bills.
From 2 November, Brighton Energy Co-operative will be launching a share offer to raise up to £500,000 for its first solar energy scheme — making it one of the largest community-owned energy initiatives in the UK.
People will be able to buy shares in Brighton Energy Co-operative, entitling them to a stake in the project. The money raised will be used to fund the purchase and installation of three solar arrays on the roofs of Shoreham Port, St Georges Church (Kemptown) and City Coast Church (Portslade) — collectively, equivalent to the size of one football pitch. Brighton Energy Co-operative is also in discussions with owners of other sites for additional arrays. 

The combined arrays will generate 120kW over their lifetime (25 years) — enough to power 40 homes and save 1,085 tonnes of carbon dioxide. 

For more information click here.




Finding Common Cause
A residential workshop for communicators and connectors – February 8^th -10^th 2012
Many people have asked for help to bring Common Cause ideas about values and frames to their organisations and wider networks. This residential workshop will give you the grounding to do so effectively. If you’re fired up by Common Cause, enjoy communicating and inspiring others, and are connected to a network or large organisation where you could engage others then this is the workshop for you.
At this workshop you will be able to:

  • Consolidate your understanding of Common Cause principles and potential applications
  • Explore participatory learning and facilitation methods and get ‘hands-on’ with our current Common Cause workshop activities
  • Develop practical ideas for engaging others about Common Cause in your network/sector/organisation
  • Become part of a network of Common Cause communicators and catalysers


More details on the lccn website here.


Do you want to be a featured group on the LCCN website?

We have started a new featured groups page on the LCCN website here. The first up is Community Action Groups (CAG) check the page out if you want to find out more about them.
If you’d like to be featured on the website, send us some text now. This should be broadly structured like this:

  • Who we are
  • What we’re doing
  • How we involve our community
  • The results we’ve achieved

250 words max, and please include a photo and logo.

Please email your details to – hello@lowcarboncommunities.net


Building LCCN – your help needed
This newsletter now goes out weekly to more than 600 people and groups, but we’d like to get it to many more. You can help!

If you find the newsletter useful, why not forward it to other people you know, either in your group or within  your network. Let them know it comes out weekly, it’s free and all they have to do to get it is to join the network…by sending an email requesting a membership form to – membership@lowcarboncommunities.net

Or you can download the membership form by clicking here.


LCCN Facebook page

Please like the Low Carbon Communities facebook page here

General Email: hello@lowcarboncommunities.net

Website: lowcarboncommunities.net                                                             02/11/2011

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