Communities Should Be Paid For Wind And Solar In Their Neighbourhood
Communities should be paid for allowing wind turbines and solar panels on public buildings, according to MPs.
The Energy and Climate Change Committee said local residents should be offered a cut in electricity bills or a stake in the ownership of renewable energy developments in their area.
The report comes as solar companies warn that solar panels must go on more schools and other buildings since there are not enough brownfield sites around the UK.
The Government-backed Green Investment Bank (GIB) could provide seed funding and project development cash for feasibility studies, permits for the grid and other elements to reduce the risk in getting schemes off the ground.
Speaking for the committee, Dr Alan Whitehead said the Government should encourage businesses to offer local people a stake in all new energy developments, or even make it mandatory to offer community ownership.
"Encouraging schools, businesses and local authorities to generate some of their electricity locally can bring big benefits to communities and the UK as a whole.
"Businesses can reduce their energy overheads, locals can potentially benefit from cheaper electricity or heat, and councils can use projects to tackle fuel poverty, cut costs and reduce carbon emissions.
"Medium-scale power plants could also help to boost energy security. Local heating schemes in particular could be helpful in balancing out peaks and troughs in the electricity supply and demand by storing energy as hot water when there is a surplus of electricity being generated."
The Government has admitted they want to increase the number of solar panels covering the countryside by up to 14 times over the next 7 years.