Community Energy Projects

The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) in 2016 advised that Africa's progressive development blueprint recognizes that to achieve the desired social and economic prosperity, countries must boost access to cheaper and reliable energy. Community energy projects are the coming together of local groups and agencies to raise funds and build renewable energy installations for the good of the community. The community benefits from the revenue generated and can choose how they spend the income after operating costs and bondholders have been repaid. This is often spent on local facilities, helping people in fuel poverty, conservation projects, or even more renewable energy installations on village halls, social clubs, schools, etc.

Community energy groups are much more than a way of generating zero-carbon energy. They are a way of bringing a community together for the common good and giving a good return on investment for local bondholders who want to invest. They are a way people can get involved in making their community stronger by having a common focus as well as accessing external funding sources, such as local authorities, grants, etc.

There’s quite a lot to think about when setting up a community project, but we have done this a few times before and can help you through it. With the idea in principle established, we can support through setting up the project concept and that will enable your project leads to communicate with the communities and potential funding bodies. Following the outcome of these engagements, our skilled and experienced engineers will carry out surveys for potential sites highlighting the key constraints to look out for: slightly sloping south-facing low-grade farmland, south (or east/west) facing roofs of public buildings, warehouses, etc. The aim is to identify a site that already uses a good amount of electricity, free of flood risk, and with no planning constraints. We will provide detailed reports that will inform other phases of your project with specialist advice and support in raising financing, getting government permits, engineering, installation, and maintenance.