Warmer, greener and cheaper: London kissed by the sun with a Community Energy Fund

Heathwave and steady sunny weather proved this summer London can easily turn light into power. Solar panels are multiplying over roofs making the capital less grey and greener as much as Sadiq Khan’s plan is hoping to see through the London Community Energy Fund: grants of up to £15,000 each, supporting development of community solar energy projects both solar photovoltaic and solar thermal. The total amount of the scheme is £150,000 aimed at reducing CO2 emissions by generating decentralised low-carbon energy. The fund is part of the Mayor’s Solar Action Plan: London at zero carbon emission by 2050.

So far 13 projects across eight boroughs have been awarded, all involving buildings used by local communities such as schools and sports centres, tenants cooperatives, where not-for-profit organisations will produce renewable energy through community-owned instalments of solar photovoltaic panels.

Among the winners of the first phase ending in 2018, Ealing Transition, project in partnership with Schools Energy Coop ,in the Borough of Ealing, which received £15,000 as test for the feasibility of solar panels installation on five schools, with a potential of 140kWp of solar capacity.

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Power Up North London had been awarded two projects: £9,700 to establish if the roof of a stable block could support solar panels at the Kentish Town City Farm, a community charity that helps city people connect with animals, nature and the environment, and LUXan international arts agency based within Waterlow Park in Camden funded with £11,500 for a feasibility study for the installation of about 34kWp of solar panels.

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Repowering London, realised by RBKC Community Energy: £14,933 to develop community solar projects which would help the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea meet its target to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2020. The core of the projects is not only the achievement of a green local energy production, but also cheaper price and total authonomy. All projects projects are feasible and go on to install solar panels by the end of this year while the second phase will start in 2019; a new path towards local economic resilience, social cohesion and sustainable energy.

Emy Muzzi