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People power - community energy sparks interest in Alwoodley

By Sue Hoey (from Together for Peace, one of Climate Action Leeds's partners), on behalf of Alwoodley 2030



Over 20 locals joined Alwoodley 2030 representatives for a fascinating presentation on opportunities for community energy, from Harrogate-based expert Mike Kaye.


Local enthusiast Cath Taylor, who spearheaded the opportunity at St Barnabas' Church earlier this month, said: "I wanted people who live near me to hear Mike speak and to see if, like me, they were excited by the potential that community energy has in a place like ours.


"I've heard of other amazing examples from around the country and I think if they can do it there, why can't we do it here?"


The way community energy schemes are delivered varies from place to place, but what they all have in common is the delivery of community-led renewable energy, energy demand reduction and energy supply projects, whether wholly owned and/or controlled by communities or through a partnership with commercial or public-sector partners.


During his presentation, Mike emphasised that community energy generation is a business, not a charitable endeavour, and that any initiative needs the support of the local community in order to get off the ground. He outlined the potential for the way energy is generated to change locally in Alwoodley, providing cheaper energy from renewable sources and creating a profit which can be used for the community. 


Having run Energy Oasis for over 15 years and worked at various scales, from small businesses to large international companies, Mike has a wealth of knowledge and experience to offer Alwoodley. We are excited to have the opportunity to harness his passion & experience to explore what might be done in Alwoodley. 


Mike felt the meeting went very well, and added: "I was impressed with the really intelligent questions asked by people in the room and also the enthusiasm with which they engaged in looking to start an energy cooperative for Alwoodley. 


"With the number of churches, community buildings, and sports associations in the area, starting off small to build it up is very viable. We are looking forward to working with them to make it a reality."


Alwoodley 2030 are organising follow up meetings, so if you live in the ward & are interested in being involved, please contact us via our website: https://www.alwoodley2030.org/alwoodley-community-energy 


We see this as a key initiative which can help our aim of working towards a zero-carbon, nature-friendly, socially just Leeds by the 2030s. Get in touch, we'd love to hear from you!

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