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The London Community Energy Fund is open for applications - but not for long

Posted by Sam Tonge on 25 September 2018 at 11:41 am

Last week we highlighted the broad range of assistance available for community energy projects in the UK. In this article we bring you a real life example in the form of London Community Energy Fund and encourage those of you based in the capital to get involved.

The London Community Energy Fund started its first round during 2017 (known as Phase I), which prioritised solar PV and thermal projects. This is part of the Mayor’s vision to put London on the straight and narrow to achieve 2 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar capacity and to become a zero carbon city by 2050.


What is Phase II?

The Fund of 2018/19 (Phase II) will again offer grants of up to £15,000, although the key difference here is the broader range of projects eligible for support. Although solar is still fast-tracked to beat the Feed-in-Tariff closure deadline, other types of community schemes are now being considered by the panel, including clean generation and energy demand reduction schemes.

Funding this time around is targeted at projects in the developmental stage, but not to fund installation of energy measures. For example, you could apply for funding to carry out a preliminary viability study or develop a strong business case. There is a strong emphasis on making schemes as investment ready for potential funders.


Why is funding only available for development stages and not installation?

A report from BEIS highlights how lack of access to up-front investment remains a key barrier to getting community energy schemes off the ground.

Further research has highlighted how a lack of understanding of the benefits of community energy along with a perceived lack of clarity in former governments’ climate change goals continues to hinder the ability to unlock the potential for community energy.

However the guidelines do state that match funding is ‘desirable’ to help enhance the social, economic and environmental benefits clean energy projects can bring.


What other support is available in London?

If you’re starting a new project, you can receive support from Community Energy London. They can help with planning and even providing networking opportunities for groups to share their experiences.

Useful resources for beginners including template legal agreements are also available upon request from organisations such as Pure Leapfrog.

For more information on what assistance is available nationwide, see our recent blog.


How do I apply?

The deadline for all applications is at 5pm on Friday 2nd November 2018. However, if you’re looking to take advantage of the solar ‘fast-track’ then you should submit your application as soon as possible, as these applications will be considered on a first-come first-served basis.

More details including specific timescales are covered in the documents listed below.

Good luck!

Webpage
https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/environment/energy/london-community-energy-fund

2018 Prospectus
https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/lcef_prospectus_2018.pdf

Frequently Asked Questions
https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/london_community_energy_fund_faqs.pdf

 

 

About the author:

Sam has contributed to our blog since 2016 and previously worked for the National Energy Foundation.

He became interested in green energy after completing a degree in Geography (BSc) at Royal Holloway, University of London. 

Sam is passionate about renewable energy and is committed to spreading the word about the role it plays in delivering environmental sustainability. 

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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