Published: 27th Jan 2014

There’s a standard local newspaper photo emerging which will come up if you search for ‘community energy’ on the internet. It’s of a group of happy people surrounding their renewable energy installation, often waving their share certificates and looking jolly pleased with themselves. And so they should, since they have invariably laboured long, unpaid hours on top of full time jobs and family commitments to make their project a success. But it will be a great shame if the government’s community energy strategy (due for publication today) crystallises ‘community energy’ merely as this one type of project, fitting an easy-to-digest template that can be photographed for a local paper and neatly described as ‘some sort of renewable energy generation owned by a local co-op’.  Because, despite its emerging status as the darling of local press (and The Guardian), ‘community energy’ remains a nebulous, poorly and generally narrowly defined concept, focused … (To read the full article, subscribe below)