What is Community Renewable Energy?
Community Renewable Energy is a term which defines energy producing facilities that are owned and operated locally, or which are sited on community land. Ultimately providing benefits to the host community via renewable sources; such as solar, wind, hydro or biofuels.
The term ‘community’ can include a wide variety of groups. From large municipalities, small rural associations, Indigenous communities, non-profit organizations, schools, colleges, universities and housing cooperatives to name a few.
It is a direct approach to mitigate changes to our environment, such as reducing air pollution and offsetting diesel generation. Economically, the creation of jobs and a long term stable source of revenue can help build a more resilient community.
Furthermore, community renewable energy brings social benefits such as the improvement of skills and greater self reliance.
There are many models of community ownership including 100% ownership, split ownership and joint venture arrangements with developer partners as well as the provision of a community benefit package for developer led projects.
Community energy is a proven way of sharing the benefits of renewable energy, being able to have greater control over electricity demand and to dictate where it comes from.
Given how the global perspective of climate change has been evolving over the years and with advancements in renewable energy technologies, now more than ever, governments are pushing for alternative solutions to meet energy demands.
This means the first real step for developing any kind of renewable energy project is the desire and motivation to want to make a positive impact to the environment and local community.