Maintaining Momentum in Bristol Community Energy

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HOW KNOWLEDGE BROKERS AND POLICY TRANSLATORS CAN HELP COMMUNITIES MAINTAIN MOMENTUM FROM SEED GRANTS.

What structures, processes and practical arrangements best allow brokers to ‘manage up and manage down’ between energy policy frameworks and community energy groups? How can community energies be harnessed and developed in ways that continue to both engage communities and constructively link with (ideally even shape) complex formal policy initiatives such as the Green Deal?

Overview:

The University of Bristol (UoB) funded a research and knowledge exchange project during 2012-2013 to work alongside the Bristol Energy Network (BEN) and Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) to help communities maintain the momentum from government seed grants in the field of green energy and to examine the roles of intermediaries such as CSE and BEN.

The project explored community groups’ demand and potential roles in the UK’s new ‘Green Deal’ and helped to identify barriers to community group involvement. It also started to explore alternatives to the Green Deal, such as a Bristol-specific Energy Services Company, bulk buying and other energy efficiency activity and drew on analogies with other sectors to identify possible future strategies.IMG_0819-Version-2

Bristol was one of the most successful areas in the UK in obtaining funds from the Government’s recent Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF). This project considered how and why Bristol groups were so successful and how to then maintain the momentum generated by this activity. The hope is that this applied research is of immediate use to community groups and networks in Bristol as well as being of wider use nationally.

The project was initiated by Professor Bronwen Morgan and Dr Morag McDermont in collaboration with the Bristol Energy Network and the Centre for Sustainable Energy and was funded by the University of Bristol’s Enterprise & Impact Development Fund. Caroline Bird was lead researcher for the University.
All outputs are available at http://www.bristol.ac.uk/law/research/centres-themes/momentum/.

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Reports uploaded so far include:

 

 

The project culminated in the ‘Energised Communities seminar in Bristol’s 2013 BIG Green Week which linked with the launch of the Bristol Community Strategy for Energy, the development of which this project helped to catalyse.