Westmill Solar is a community owned renewable energy project based in the south of England – the first of its kind in the UK. A local farmer – Adam Twine - and partners developed the project to build on the success of their earlier wind farm project. The solar farm is paid for the energy it creates and is owned as a co-operative following a community share issue. As well as aiming to produce local, reliable, clean energy, the project also seeks to get local people involved in energy production as well as demonstrating what is possible in order to inspire others.
Climate change is increasingly recognised as a real and man-made threat. Energy production which relies on oil and gas is not only exacerbating this problem but is also only sustainable for a finite period of time. There is an increasing need to consider – and expand – renewable energy sources.
The UK is also concerned about energy security and communities are increasingly thinking about their ‘resilience’. When civil unrest in the Ukraine can impact on the stability of energy supplies in the UK, people are starting to worry about how they can take greater control and ownership of their energy supply.
Community owned renewable energy projects exist throughout the UK but often on a relatively small scale. In Denmark and Germany a much greater proportion of renewable energy is owned by communities.
Westmill Solar explain how “We believe that one of society’s greatest challenges is securing low carbon energy at a realistic price and that opportunities for us as individuals to generate renewable energy and help limit climate change are few and far between.
The Westmill Solar share prospectus explains the volatility of electricity and gas process in the UK.