Local solar given boost as government pledges £10 million clean energy fund


A £10 million fund has been launched to support community renewable projects, including solar.

It comes as part of the government’s established Rural Community Energy Fund and will support new community solar projects, as well as other technologies such as wind, hydro and battery storage.

Applications for feasibility grants of up to £40,000 are open, with viable proposals to also be considered for additional grants of up to £100,000 for business development and planning application.

The funding comes in an effort to increase energy self-sufficiency in rural communities and is designed to help sports clubs, churches and schools to save money and reduce emissions, as well as to make money through selling back excess generation to the grid.

There has been 152 community energy projects to previously receive funding, including solar installed on Salisbury cathedral and Frome Town FC. Collectively, all projects to receive funding have generated around 105,00kW.

Chris Skidmore, stand-in energy minister, said: “It will take all corners of the country and sections of society to help us to tackle climate change on our path to becoming a net zero emissions economy and communities are at the heart of our mission for a greener planet.”

The funding, and any applications, are to be managed by five local energy hubs and hosted by a local authority in each area. The five hubs are the North East Yorkshire and Humber, North West, Midlands, South East and South West.