Friday was a full on community energy day in Llanberis. Five local community energy companies in the area agreed to join together to form a consortium. ( A cooperative arrangement among groups or institutions). We are served well by Community Energy Wales on a political level and such like but we can see a need for more practical joined together working. We can all see the benefit for funding, selling energy, local supply, employment and so on. Cyd Ynni (energy together) was born on Friday. This follows hot on the heels of a successful bid to the Local Action Group for European Leader feasibility funding to develop our business plan. This will also enable a few from each community to travel to Scotland to meet like-minded groups and also for a lesson sharing event when the business plan is ready. This quick meeting on Friday meeting was quickly followed by the next meeting in Llanberis with the Local Authority to explore specific development points with the five community groups. The Local Assembly Member and chair of the Welsh Assembly Environmental Panel Alun Fred kindly agreed to chair the round table discussion. The meeting was open, friendly and constructive (for constructive see ‘we had agreed actions’ which is always a positive)
specific points included looking into
- Business rates and the local authorities view on helping social enterprises with BR relief?
- Exploring the use of Local authority land for community groups to develop renewable energy projects
- The local authority working with groups to support some form of prudential lending facility from the market to capitalise projects
- use of the community development officers to provide support for community energy groups
we have a lot to follow-up and but it was an excellent start!
The afternoon was hosted by Renew Wales, Community Energy Wales and ably organised by DEG. Funding kindly provided by the Robert Owen Community Bank Fund. This was more of a networking and sharing event together with a workshop event run by Cardiff University looking into the economic and confidence side of working in the community sector. The highlight for me for the session hosted by Energy Local and their trials of smart meter driven local energy supply and sleeving generated renewable energy into the local supply chain. The trial is starting next week. Lots to think about here for adding value and bridging the FIT gap if the consultation FIT proposals are enacted.
Overall a nice day and a weekend topped off with the 28 -25 score line #Walesrugby Perfect weekend!