Why should renewable energy developers and local energy enterprises be thinking about shared ownership?
Local ownership of energy generation, including through shared ownership arrangements with commercial developers, and community-based solutions to the delivery of energy efficiency, fuel poverty reduction and energy market reform is key to the development of a low carbon, low cost and resilient energy future. This is reflected in Government policy.
Following the publication of the Community Energy Strategy in 2014, the Government has created enabling powers to legally require developers of renewable energy projects to offer the local community the opportunity to share in the ownership of their projects. A policy introduced in 2015 enables two projects of up to 5MW each (10MW total) to share a grid connection and both benefit from the FiT, where one of the projects is owned by a qualifying community entity. The FiT and Renewables Obligation are otherwise capped at 5MW. This creates a positive financial incentive for both commercial developers and communities to engage in shared ownership.