The Community Ownership ofRenewable Energy Conference on 26th June
organised by local Transition Town groups, brought together renewable energy experts from around the country. At the end of the day 40 of those attending the conference decided to form a group to set up a “community energy company” for South Warwickshire. One of the initial proposals for the company is to install solar panels on the roofs of Stratford and Warwick Hospitals. The idea was put forward by the Energy Manager for Warwick NHS Trust who had already costed the project at over £500,000. This money would be raised by selling shares in the company to local people who would expect to earn a good rate of interest. The income for the company would be generated by selling electricity from the solar panels under the government's new “feed-in tariff”, which is guaranteed for the next 25 years. The NHS Trust would also benefit by getting free electricity directly from the panels.
Earlier in the day speakers from
Energy4All had spoken about their experience in setting up “energy co-ops”; Wessex Community Assets talked about setting up “community benefit societies” for such projects and Encraft Ltd talked about the potential for solar, hydro, wood-fuel and wind energy in the area.