Following the success of its 2013, 2014 and 2015 national events, Co-operative Energy and Community Energy England organised the 2016 Community Energy Conference titled ‘Powering Forward – rebooting the UK’s community energy sector’.

The community energy sector in the UK has never been more successful, vibrant or relevant. This year will see record levels of activity and the sector finally beginning to make a real impact. But these programmes are underpinned by finance and support that has been secured under now defunct Feed-in Tariff (FiT) subsidy and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief regimes. The sector therefore needs to develop radically new models of operation if it is to continue moving forward apace.

The Conference ‘Powering Forward - rebooting the UK's community energy sector’ explored the options for development of these new models. What role can local government play? How will the crowd-sourcing of finance change? Do demand management and storage provide radical new options? Can the EU's new Renewable Energy Directive offer new impetus?

These and other questions were explored at what has become the UK’s largest and most exciting annual gathering of community energy practitioners. The following topics were discussed by eminent practitioners during the event:

Photo: 3rd September 2016. Said Business School, Oxford, UK. The Co-operative Energy Community Energy Conference 2016.

Workshops included:

All of the above sessions have been written up into the post event report.

There was also a Question-time panel discussion: "What will community energy look like in 2020?" featuring

  • Afsheen Rashid, Repowering London
  • Dan Nicholls, Cornwall Council
  • Mike Smyth, Energy4All
  • Siward Zomer, REScoop and De Windvogel

Following the conference the Community Energy Awards took place celebrating the successes of the previous year.