Community Energy – Local Renewable Energy Investments in the Clean Transition

Investment in community energy means getting involved in positive local schemes – and a return on your cash.

But our renewable energy investments are more than just about income. They also a way to help our community tackle climate change and the dominance of fossil fuels, too.

Local Involvement in the Global Energy Transition

Research shows 42% of British adults with investments want to “make money and make a difference”, with over one in three wanting at least a quarter of their investments to include renewable energy sources. A further one in 10 wants energy efficiency, green and ethical considerations in a smaller proportion of their investments.

An example is Simon Jones, a 60-year-old director from Brighton, who has money in funds including Brighton Energy Coop as well as several others. “I don’t consider myself to be an ethical investor, as such,” he says: “I don’t invest in tobacco or arms but other than that, the funds respond to longer-term trends affecting the UK, as well as the global market; many happen to address issues like the energy crisis. I see the Brighton Energy Coop project as a way to invest to make a positive impact and support a worthwhile local scheme.”

Local Energy projects Building a Sustainable Future, Financially

Our renewable energy projects help reduce carbon emissions and decarbonise our energy systems. And in recent years solar energy has become a solid source of revenue generation. The worldwide introduction of feed in tariffs in the past decade ago means the clean energy transition has plenty of financial experience. Green energy investments are no longer seen as risky, outlier choices; indeed global energy investment has been soaring.

That’s certainly the case here at Brighton Energy Coop, where we recently celebrated our twelfth birthday. Over the years our innovative approach has led to many solar projects, built charge points for electric vehicles, run a grant scheme to support solar for local businesses – as well as our community fund which support education around renewable sources and environmental issues. And regular payment of member interest has seen us grow to more than 700 small investors – our average investment is 3000 pounds.

The Rapid Growth of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere means we must Act

For the first time the Paris Agreement in 2015 set concrete climate goals. Yet this was already happening on the ground as the commercial operation around clean energy – from large scale global investment to developed supply chains. Solar investment, in particular, had become a mainstream part of the energy sector.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, meanwhile, has led market conditions to record high fossil fuel prices and led to increasing demand for alternatives. Record natural gas prices have led to many investment opportunities in clean energy.

Yet what distinguishes BEC is that – while rising energy prices are a concern – is our primary concern around rising greenhouse gas emissions. Hardly a day passes without some new report telling us what we already know – clean energy deployment is no longer a choice – global warming demands we act.

You can help us do that by joining Brighton Energy Coop here.