Community Energy England and Community Energy Wales are proud to publish the Community Energy: State of the Sector 2020 Report. As with all three previous reports, we are hugely grateful for all the community energy organisations and practitioners who took the time to provide us with data about their activity this year.
This report is made possible by the sector, and is created to help highlight its activity, achievements and resilience, explore these in detail and broadcast them to a wide audience.
You can download the executive summary and full reports, along with a PDF and PowerPoint versions of the infographics (the slides also have speaking notes included). We encourage you to use the findings, statistics and infographics in your own research, reports, blogs or other publications, but we ask that you refence that they came from the State of the Sector report with permission of Community Energy England.
Updated 17 June 2020.
Key findings from the report:
- 2019 was a year of climate activism: The UK parliament, Welsh Government, Northern Ireland Assembly, Scottish Government and many local authorities declared climate emergencies.
- 2019 was a challenging year for the community energy sector: The sector has been negatively impacted by recent reductions in subsidy support and unclear government strategy.
- Community energy is playing an ever-increasing role in technological and social innovation: The sector is developing new business models and exploring innovative new approaches to deliver a low carbon future.
- Community energy across the UK needs clear guidance and support: The sector must be supported to access new emerging opportunities, ensuring the long-term growth and impact of the sector.
The 2020 State of the Sector research and report have been prepared by Scene on behalf of Community Energy England and Community Energy Wales, alongside regional reports for Electricity North West and Northern Powergrid. Many thanks to SP Energy Networks for its financial support of the report.
Liam O’Sullivan, SP Manweb Director, SP Energy Networks: "SP Energy Networks takes community energy very seriously and strategically plan our activities and investments to ensure we can effectively play our central role in facilitating more local energy schemes. We are delighted to have the opportunity to further contribute to the growth of the community energy by sponsoring Community Energy England’s annual State of the Sector report and by funding the research which they used for their 2030 Vision. We know through our existing partnerships that community energy groups and their local support organisations – such as Community Energy England – have already achieved amazing feats of local innovation and we look forward to continuing to work collaboratively to ensure a just, local energy future which maximises the potential benefits of a net zero future for everyone."
Sandy Robinson, Scene: "Over the last 4 years, we have reported on how community energy can deliver long-lasting positive local impacts. This potential has always been tempered by a multitude of barriers as well as a lack of acknowledgement and support. In 2020, the community energy sector will face challenges beyond anything experienced to date. Now, more than ever, community energy organisations are demonstrating their value - delivering services and support for local people and businesses in need. These organisations and the wider community energy sector deserves better and more ambitions support, not just during 2020 but long into the future."
This report assessed data up to the end of 2019, building on previous reports from 2017-2019. Please contact us if you are interested in using an anonymised State of the Sector 2020 dataset.
You can view the State of the Sector 2019 report and other Community Energy England publications here.