Cornwall Council is supporting communities in Cornwall to develop plans to take control of their local energy systems as part of its agreement with the Government for the UK’s first rural Devolution Deal.
The Deal commits the Council and Government to work together to trial new models for community energy, focusing on how local and neighbourhood plans can support local ownership of renewable energy.
These activities officially got underway at last week’s Cornwall Energy Summit in Truro with the launch of the Council’s new Neighbourhood Planning guidance on community energy.
The guidance, entitled ‘Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: a community-led approach’ will ensure that communities can take control of the future of their local energy systems by setting out the types of projects that will be supported and ensuring that local residents and businesses are the beneficiaries.
Answering the question ‘what more can be done to support community energy in Cornwall’, the Summit was attended by representatives of a range of organisations interested in community energy, including Community Energy England, RegenSW, Good Energy the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and representatives of Cornwall’s community energy groups.
Chairing the summit, Julian German, Cornwall Council’s cabinet member for economy and culture, said: “It is great to see Cornwall Council leading the way in supporting community energy groups at what is a difficult time for the sector.
“Cornwall benefits from significant clean energy resources and the Council believes that the benefits of making use of these resources should be shared with local communities, businesses and residents.”
MP for Truro and Falmouth, Sarah Newton, added: “Reducing energy bills and increasing energy security while supporting renewable energy remain key priorities of my work for constituents. I support the parts of Devolution Deal that tackle these issues with people and communities in Cornwall.”