Clean, renewable energy generation at community level is beneficial both to the community and the wider environment. By reducing dependence on energy generation from fossil fuels, communities can secure future energy supply, gain protection from rising fuel costs and reduce the risk of fuel poverty. Income from renewable projects can be used to provide benefits to the community, create jobs and promote social cohesion.
The Rural Community Energy Fund is a £10 million programme that supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects with community benefit. In our area it is being delivered by the Greater South East Energy Hub on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.
A stage One Feasibility Grant offers up to £40,000 to cover the professional costs of developing a feasibility report in a standard format. A stage two Development Grant offers up to £100,000 and is intended for projects that demonstrate a good chance of securing planning permission and being implemented. This covers more detailed investigation into the key areas of technology selection including the cost of securing a site (such as legal fees), environmental impact assessments, submitting planning and permitting applications and developing a business plan.