Today campaign group, Power for People, thanked local Gordon MP, Richard Thomson, for supporting a proposed new law aimed at helping community energy schemes, which have seen almost no growth in recent years.
Community energy – renewable energy generated by community owned and run projects – accounts for less than 0.5% of total UK electricity generation capacity. According to the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee, the sector could grow 12-20 times by 2030 with the right Government support, powering 2.2 million homes and saving 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.
The recent Net Zero review, authored by Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP and commissioned by the Government, affirmed “the community energy sector has been relatively neglected by government” with its leading recommendation to address this be that the “Government should commit to the Local Electricity Bill that would enable community energy projects to provide energy directly to local households and businesses.”
A cross-party group of 316 MPs, including Richard Thomson MP, support the Local Electricity Bill, along with over 100 national organisations including the National Trust, the RSPB, CPRE, WWF, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.
Supportive MPs, as well as Lords and Baronesses in the House of Lords, are now encouraging the Government to include the sections of the Local Electricity Bill in the Government’s Energy Bill, which is the first major piece of energy legislation in almost 10 years and is expected to pass into law before the summer.
Richard Thomson, MP for Gordon, said
“I am pleased to support the Local Electricity Bill, which will empower and enable new community energy companies to sell energy they generate directly to local people, helping to strengthen our local economy. I call on the Government to support it too, such as by including its measures in the Energy Bill that is currently progressing through Parliament.”
Power for People’s Director, Steve Shaw, said
“We thank Richard Thomson for supporting community energy and the Local Electricity Bill in Parliament. If made law, it would unleash the huge potential for new community-owned clean energy that would be cheaper, make our energy system more robust and bring knock-on local economic benefits to our towns, villages and cities.”
Power for People is calling for the UK Government to back the Bill and to include measures to support the growth of community energy schemes in the Government’s Energy Bill, currently progressing through Parliament. So far, the Government have not supported such measures. The campaign continues.