The Shared Ownership Taskforce includes representatives from the renewables industry and the community energy sector. They have developed a voluntary approach to increasing shared ownership of new, commercial onshore renewables developments.
Background on shared ownership
Shared ownership is not just about helping communities play a greater role in the UK energy system and realising financial rewards. Increased engagement of communities can translate to greater understanding, less opposition and a quicker, cheaper development process. It is one of the key ways to realise a step-change for the community energy sector and increase support to drive the renewables industry forward to 2020 and beyond.
Purpose of the Shared Ownership Taskforce
The Community Energy Strategy includes a commitment from the renewables industry to work with the community energy sector to substantially increase shared ownership of new commercial onshore renewables developments. In terms of the Shared Ownership Taskforce the Strategy stated that:
“The Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change has asked an industry taskforce to work with the community sector and report back to him by summer 2014. This report will include a robust framework and timetable for implementation. In addition to identifying measures to increase community ownership of new commercial developments, the taskforce will work with community energy groups to set an overall level of ambition for community ownership of new renewables developments (including both wholly and partly community-owned developments).
We expect that by 2015 it will be the norm for communities to be offered the opportunity of some level of ownership of new, commercially developed onshore renewables projects. We will review progress in 2015 and if this is limited, we will consider requiring all developers to offer the opportunity of a shared ownership element to communities.”
The Taskforce provides a forum for industry and communities to work together, to allow innovation and creativity and build on best practices to achieve the Secretary of State’s vision.
DECC has been working closely with the Taskforce in their development of a voluntary approach to shared ownership..
Progress to date
The Taskforce launched its final Shared Ownership framework in November 2014. This can be found on the Renewable UK website.
On 27 February 2015 we published the Government response to the Shared Ownership Taskforce. This confirms that the government supports the Taskforce’s guide for increasing the offer of shared ownership to local communities and sets out a number of recommendations for the Taskforce.
We now expect all relevant renewable energy developers to be engaging with this guide and discussing shared ownership opportunities with local communities.