The ever-increasing need for renewable and sustainable sources of energy has led to solar power becoming one of the most important energy resources today. Solar photovoltaic is growing at a phenomenal rate and there are large-scale solar projects under development across the globe.
China has financed more than half of this development and this is evident from the reports published by the International Energy Agency or the IEA.
London's community-owned solar projects
It’s not just large-scale solar projects that are being developed. In London there are dedicated communities towards managing and developing sustainable energy resources own a number of small-scale solar projects without the expectation of profits. The projects are undertaken by a nonprofit organization called Repowering London.
The organization, along with members from Banister House and Hackney Energy, developed the first small-scale solar project that was community-owned in October 2015. The scheme was named the Banister House Solar.
The scheme provides renewable electricity for the residents of the building managed by the project. The project is expected to reduce 679 tonnes of carbon dioxide in twenty years.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be around 150,000 pounds. The entire amount was financed by the public and the investors are entitled to a profit as well. The project also involved the installation of smart meters. The surprising fact is that the amount was raised by the public within just a period of eight weeks. The benefits are not just in terms of energy. Investors stand to receive a 4% return on their investments and the energy savings are beneficial to the owner of the building. It is a win-win situation for everyone involved and the biggest advantage is the reduction of the carbon footprint.
Community-owned solar projects in Scotland
London is not the only city to be making progress in community-owned solar projects. In Scotland, a community known as the FindHorn Ecovillage owns four wind turbines with a capacity of 750 watts in total. The turbines even facilitate the export of electricity and the electricity generated is distributed between a private grid and a main grid. The electricity sent to the private grid is used on-site. It is not just the large-scale solar projects that are making a difference. Small-scale solar projects are changing lives and they are being managed efficiently by members of different communities.