Glasgow Community Energy features as one of Local Energy Scotland’s successful case studies in this new video.
Thanks to everyone who supported our first Community Share Offer!
We had an amazing response from individuals and community organisations across the city and beyond, and smashed our £30,000 target.
We received completed applications from:
- 152 individuals
- 26 community organisations
All 178 new Members will receive Share Certificates from us by 16 July 2021
Thinking about investing in Glasgow Community Energy?
Want to find out more?
Please register via the Zoom links below, and we look forward to seeing you there!
After nearly six years in the making, we’re so excited to be finally launching our Community Share Offer, with this beautiful film by James Alcock made on site at Glendale Primary School last October.
No doubt aside from Coronavirus, the climate crisis is very much in the headlines thanks to significant efforts to increase climate literacy in schools, communities, workplaces and Government. But this is more than headlines, the tangible impacts of climate change are being felt around the world as the adverse effects of our human activities continue unabated. Negatives aside, Glasgow Community Energy are committed to empowering people from all walks of life to be engaged, informed and share what they learn with others in the hope that the collective action of many people can transform our communities and restore our planet.
So, what’s our role in this grand vision, and what can you do?
Our programme of outreach is very diverse, but we start with engaging with schools, where we have provided more than 15 solar energy workshops to date. Our hope is to encourage the next generation of climate conscious thinkers by exploring the nature of energy access in developing countries and how energy can be used to improve our lives. It’s wonderful to see young people questioning their understanding of the world through the hands-on sessions and passionately pursuing STEM subjects. We’re always looking for invites to more schools so do get in touch!
We have also participated in Climate Conversations (a government initiative to help communities grapple with the challenges of creating a more sustainable world) and hope to facilitate more this year.
Some of you will be aware of the upcoming COP26 (UN Climate Change Conference) in November this year which will be held in Glasgow. Glasgow Community Energy will be involved in the Year of Climate Action in the lead up to COP26, as we hope to educate and inspire others whilst encouraging local policy makers to champion environmental action. This year is highly significant as it marks a point at which societal pressure, political will and economic development need to align if we are to achieve the goals set out by the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and meet new Net Zero Emissions targets. We’d encourage anyone to find out more about the COP26 and get involved!
Our climate crisis is an emergency, but it is not a quick fix. If we want to guarantee the welfare of generations to come, we need a sustained commitment, where everyone has a part to play.
Guest blog by Calum Watkins
Director, Glasgow Community Energy
A closer look at how to finance community projects
Financing community projects can seem daunting at first. Projects with several stages and different amounts of funding will require a significant amount of advance planning to make sure the project is feasible, but thankfully there are various different options to help aid this process and financially support local projects.
There are several government level grants and loans specifically designed to help fund community based projects. Keeping a look out for local financing opportunities is a good idea, as many councils have set aside pots of money for this purpose. Any applications should be carefully reviewed, as there are an excess of projects requiring funding at any given point.
There are many sources of finance to help support community energy specifically. Glasgow Community Energy is a community solar energy project and GCE has received funding through various different methods. This has included a Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) grant through the Green Economy Fund, a fund supported by Scottish Power to specifically work with smaller communities and provide access to funding for projects that may have struggled to finance otherwise.
GCE were also successful in applying for a CARES loan. CARES is the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy scheme that was created to provide financial support to local energy projects. The CARES scheme includes an Enablement Grant of up to £25k, designed to get renewable energy projects off the ground, funding start-up costs such as feasibility analysis and community consultation. The CARES Development Loan is then available to take forward these plans created in the initial stages, including a write off facility to mitigate development risks. Finally, the CARES Innovation Grant is available to help progress particularly innovative community energy projects. This is managed by Local Energy Scotland, who also provide advice, toolkits, case studies and other online resources for communities.
In addition, GCE is working in conjunction with Energy4All, a non-profit organisation that helps to fund local energy projects. Energy4All have helped to develop 27 community energy projects, with more in the pipeline. They create co-operatives by working with communities to develop renewable energy projects. Energy4All provide help and support all the way through the project by helping applying for funding, finance modelling, hiring a project manager and issuing a share offer to raise the capital required for the project to be successful. Local people invest by buying shares and receive annual interest payments in return. This effectively means that the members, those who have invested, therefore own the project. In theory, once the capital is paid off the project will at this point be making money. Along with some regular maintenance costs, the fees will be paid and the interest paid off to the members, the remaining profit is issued to deserving local projects. This is known as a community benefit fund. A good example of an Energy4All project is the Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative. People from across the UK invested over 1.4 million to install PV solar panels on 24 different buildings across Edinburgh. Every year this generates 1.1 GWh of clean renewable electricity, saving over 1000 tons of carbon dioxide. Through Edinburgh’s community benefit funds, the co-operative have already supported five different local projects.
Guest blog by Zoe Dickson
Director, Glasgow Community Energy