What do we do?
Community Energy Wales is a not for profit membership organisation that has been set up to provide assistance and a voice to community groups working on energy projects in Wales. We want to help create the conditions in Wales that allow community energy projects to flourish, and communities to prosper.
There is no doubting the benefits that can flow to communities from the development of community energy projects – but as an increasing number of community organisations are discovering, the journey from an initial idea to the realisation of a project can be fraught with frustration and delay. We will support groups to develop projects by:
- – providing a platform whereby community energy groups can pool their experience and learn from each other, we will accelerate the pace of development.
- – gathering evidence about where the stumbling blocks that are delaying or preventing schemes lie – be this access to the right kind of funding at the right time, planning and licencing issues or grid connectivity –
- – campaigning on behalf of the sector and influence the formation of energy policy in Wales in support of delivering clear community energy targets.
If your community group or organisation supports these aims – please join today.
Who Are We?
Community Energy Wales was constituted in 2012. We have a management board drawn from professionals working in the community energy sector, but the organisation belongs to its members, who can vote on the composition of that board on an annual basis.
Community Energy Wales is funded initially by the Welsh Government, but has to raise an increasing percentage of its operating costs from Sponsorship and other income generating activities. We work in partnership with other organisations to deliver assistance and networking opportunities to community energy groups in Wales.
We employ a business manager to coordinate the activities of the organisation. This employment is hosted by a partner organisation, the Development Trust Association Wales, who also provides our registered address, in Penarth.
Our Articles of Association can be read here Memorandum and Articles.
Our approach is to bring together a programme of practical support to inspire communities to take action, educational support to empower them to develop their schemes in accordance with their needs, financial advice and support to help implement the schemes sustainably over a long-term period, and influence the necessary people and policies to make these schemes a success and share their experiences with others.
In 2012 CEW members had significant input in developing the Renew Wales programme which supports enterprising action on climate change through Peer to Peer support. The programme has supported over 200 groups in Wales in the last 3 years including over 60 groups looking to develop community energy projects. A highlight was the development of Wales’ first Solar PV Co-operative Egni.
In 2013, we were successful in securing £1m from the Big Lottery to set up the Community Energy Fund, administered on our behalf by Robert Owen Community Banking. The Fund, which is a revolving loan fund, can provide finance for initial development costs of projects, as well as helping to fund their installation.
We aim to map all community energy action taking place across Wales currently and in the future as well as offering the opportunity of membership to supportive public, private and third sector organisations who are supportive of Community Energy and provide opportunities for valuable peer to peer support and collaboration.
Additional activities have included the commissioning of a report on the vibrancy of the community energy sector in Wales. This report, which is being developed by Cardiff University, is due to be published in November 2015.
This page is also available in: Welsh