Pauline Latham OBE MP has used a question session in Parliament to seek assurances that community energy projects currently in the making will be supported by Government initiatives after recent changes were announced.
Highlighting the case of a Community Trust group which is a spin off from Transition Belper in Mid-Derbyshire, Pauline Latham OBE MP, asked the Secretary of State for Energy, The Rt Hon. Amber Rudd MP, that they continue to be supported in their pre-accreditation bid for a hydro-power project which has been in production for four years.
The pre-accreditation policy was changed in July of this year so applicants could no longer apply to join the feed-in-tariffs scheme before their energy saving projects have been accredited. Feed-in-tariffs encouraged local energy projects to produce their own energy and receive a subsidy from energy companies for the amount of energy they produced.
Such a change has put projects at real risk from potential local community investors, key to funding such projects, who may not invest over fears that the sustainable energy projects will not be accredited when complete. This potential lack of funds and uncertainty over whether subsidies for renewable energy will continue has led to Mrs Latham seeking assurances on their behalf in Parliament.
Pauline Latham said: “I have heard the concerns of Transition Belper and others involved in local energy projects about the impact on the financial viability of projects the recent changes have caused. I sincerely hope these popular projects can still go ahead and be supported. I will continue to monitor the consultation on feed-in-tariffs and the impact it will have on local energy producing projects and I would urge anyone who shares these concerns to take part in the consultation by the Department of Energy and Climate Change”.