‘Solar hub’ plan for town


Could solar be the future for the Sunshine Coast? One group certainly thinks so, taking the chance to speak to energy secretary Ed Davey when he was on a trip in East Sussex.

Mr Davey was visiting Harveys Brewery in Lewes, on Thursday November 13, where he launched the new £10 million Urban Community Energy Fund.

And while he was there members of Eastbourne Community Energy took the chance to talk to him about their own project.

Andrew Durling, from Eastbourne Community Energy said, “Eastbourne is the sunniest place in the UK, so we in Eastbourne Community Energy want our beautiful town to be the Solar Hub of the South Coast, with much of that solar energy community-owned so that local residents can enjoy not only a great climate but also a clean, affordable energy future together with a more resilient local economy built upon the rock of a green, sustainable energy grid. “We will do that hand in hand with engagement at community level to eliminate fuel poverty in whatever way we can, such as Community Energy South’s Big Energy Saving Network scheme that we’re currently participating in. The future’s bright, the future’s solar!”

The scheme wants to produce energy locally, for the benefit of local people. And the new £10 million Urban Community Energy Fund will only help their cause.

Community groups can reap the benefits of renewable energy by creating “power hubs” in their area. Installing solar panels on local buildings or factories or building an anaerobic digestion plant to create energy from local waste can save whole communities money.

Mr Davey said, “I want to give more people the power to generate their own electricity and by supporting community energy projects we can - helping them drive down their energy bills at the same time. That’s why we’ve pledged £10 million, so communities can play their part in generating renewable power at a local level.”

Visit www.e-ce.co.uk for more on Eastbourne Community Energy.