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Community-owned Energy Projects

Volume 718: debated on Tuesday 12 July 2022

13. What recent steps his Department has taken to help support the growth of community-owned energy projects. (901029)

We encourage community energy groups to work closely with local authorities to support the development of projects through UK-wide growth funding.

The Minister knows that community-owned local energy projects will be critical to delivering net zero and national security, and are often best delivered by co-operatives. However, he should also know that the minimum tariff paid by the big suppliers to the small suppliers is often too low to make many smaller suppliers viable. Will he look into that minimum tariff, and also work with the Co-operative party to support and fund the launch of new locally owned community energy projects?

I should be happy to have a look at those tariffs, but I do not think that this would prevent us from supporting community energy projects as a Government. We have a very good track record in that regard, through previous funds and through, for example, the towns fund, run by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, which has just awarded more than £23.6 million to Glastonbury Town Council. The projects involved include the Glastonbury clean energy project, whose purpose is investment in renewable energy generation and low-carbon transport infrastructure. There is a great deal going on in this space, but I am happy to look at the tariff question in particular.