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Human Windmill in Glasgow’s George Square

Community energy supporters from across Scotland gathered on 5th March 2014 in Glasgow’s George Square to form a human, spinning windmill to mark the launch of a new coalition.

Friends of the Earth Campaigner Anne Schiffer said: “Our human windmill marks the launch of the Scottish Community Energy Coalition that brings together leading organisations in Scotland working to support community energy projects.  Communities doing it for themselves is a great way to create green energy, reduce climate emissions and support local economies.”


Policy recommendations available! Mobilisation of public-private financing for community based sustainable energy projects

Within the EU budget 2014 -2020, the next generation of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) comprises a minimum of 23bn EUR to catalyse the “shift to a low-carbon economy”. A mixtures of different financing instruments of combined grants and loans provided by the ESI Funds can support local governments, communities, local actions groups and other stakeholders to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in their communities.

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Fostering Social Acceptance for wind power (WISE POWER project)   

The WISE Power project aims at accelerating and adding certainty to planning processes by decreasing local community opposition to wind energy, the overhead lines connecting them and other necessary grid infrastructure upgrades. This will be done in line with, and reflecting, society’s broad acceptance of wind energy.

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Clean energy for 2030 and beyond: cities and regions walk the talk

Cities and sub-national authorities across Europe are frontrunners on both climate and energy action. At this joint ICLEI Europe/WWF European Policy Office event on 13 March 2014 in Brussels, Mayors and senior representatives of European cities will showcase their ambitious work in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency and share their best practices. They will highlight what opportunities renewable energy and community-led energy initiatives provide in their local context, and how they can be replicated in Europe at both higher and lower level of governance, if supported by ambitious EU climate and energy policies.

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EU’s global cleantech leadership at risk

The EU still leads the world in clean energy technologies, but for how long? In 2012, 70% of new wind power capacity and 40% of new photovoltaic panels were installed outside Europe. Brussels has shied away from new national renewables targets in its 2030 climate and energy proposals. It is preparing fresh rules on state aid that will disadvantage less mature technologies such as offshore wind and solar PV. And the EU internal energy market remains incomplete and ill-suited to integrate these new, less predictable sources of power. No one wants  renewables to be pampered forever – but there is a growing fear that ill-considered reforms will destroy one of the great European success stories of the last decade.


UK's Energy Minister Barker performs Feed-in Tariff U-turn on biogas

Energy Minister Greg Barker has been accused of going back on a commitment to take action on Feed-in Tariff (FiT) degression for small-scale Anaerobic Digestion.

In a statement released today, officials at the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced that they will not now be consulting on what steps it can take to counter the subsidy slump that threatens the roll-out of successful AD schemes.


West Lothian communities win landmark £13m deal after tough talks with wind-farm developers

Local communities have won a record-breaking £13 million deal from a French multinational company planning to build a wind farm near Edinburgh.

A healthy slice of the profits from 22 wind turbines proposed for Fauch Hill in West Lothian will be shared by surrounding towns and villages - plus all the profits from another turbine to be wholly owned by local people.

The deal, agreed after tough negotiations, is reckoned to be one of the best ever from a wind power developer, and could have major implications for other Scottish communities considering hosting wind farms.


EU energy and climate 2030 ambitions no help to Scotland

Reacting to the announcement of European targets for climate change and energy Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

'On climate change Europe is aiming to achieve less by 2030 than Scotland plans for 2020. A 40% target is far short of what is needed to ensure the world avoids disastrous climate change. This is a victory for big polluters but a major disappointment for any-one looking for Europe to play a leadership role in UN talks about future global targets.'

Taking over Berlin's energy supply, Guest Blog #1

The story of the following referendum already began two and a half years ago in 2011 with the formation of the Berliner Energietisch, roughly translated as Berlin Energy Roundtable. The alliance of 56 local civil society groups is the initiator of an impressive big campaign in which Berlin's citizens were asked to ‘reclaim’ Berlin's power.

The overall aim is the establishment of a more ecological, social and democratic energy supply in Germany’s capital. However this demands several concrete steps like the municipal ownership of the electrical power grid and a community-owned energy supplier designed as a modern energy service has to be established.









Spanish Cooperatives Challenge Electric Utilities

A growing number of Spaniards are abandoning the country's big electric utilities to form consumer cooperatives that generate or purchase power from renewable energy sources. Their ranks - while still tiny - are being fed by consumer discontent over a government decision to curtail green-energy projects. The defections highlight the latest fallout from a broader debate over green energy now raging across Europe.

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