A community renewable energy scheme should yield a better financial return than installing your own grid-connected renewable energy system, due to the economies of scale inherent in larger installations. Such a scheme can also act as a focus for the community - it’s a great way to raise awareness of energy issues because it gives people a real stake in power generation, rather than just being consumers.
One such project, Bro Dyfi Community Renewables, was set up in the Dyfi Valley, Mid Wales. You can read about this in our Community Wind Power Case Study sheet, which includes details of how they set up that scheme, along with useful contacts.
A good place to start if looking for further advice is Energy4All. This is an advice scheme set up by the Baywind Energy Cooperative to advise and support other community schemes.
The ethical bank Triodos set up the company Triodos Renewables as a way for people to invest in renewable energy in the UK.
In a similar vein, Ecotricity run a scheme called Merchant Wind Power, aimed at businesses. They will build and maintain wind turbines either on or away from the premises, in return for a long-term agreement to purchase the power produced.
The Energy Saving Trust can advise about sources of funding for community energy projects. See also the Community Energy Hub website for more information and examples. If you are in Wales or Scotland, see Local Energy Wales, Local Energy Scotland or Community Energy Scotland for advice, support and case studies.