UK seeks community RE take-off

The UK could see a total of up to 3GW of “community” wind, solar and hydro projects operating by 2020, officials said today.

The forecast came as the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) revealed its Community Energy Strategy, in an attempt to build bridges between local residents and new generating projects.

The UK government said it wants to see some degree of community ownership become “the norm” for new onshore renewable developments by 2015.

As part of the plan DECC said it will launch a consultation over doubling to 10MW the maximum capacity of community-owned deployments that are eligible for feed-in tariffs.

DECC will also set up a community benefits register for offshore wind in England, similar to that already operating in Scotland.

The UK government is talking to the EU about levering small onshore wind and hydro schemes into the remit of the country’s Green Investment Bank.