Friday, 26 September 2014

Community Energy? Communist Energy? Does DECC know the difference?

The UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the Rt Hon Edward Davey MP (Lib Dem), spoke words of encouragement to local authorities and community energy groups on 4th September 2014. The largest part of his short speech was a catalogue of ‘pioneering examples’ for community energy, each of which had found a different way to achieve collective ownership of energy production resources. He went on to say that his department DECC was about to release £10M through an Urban Community Energy Fund, which again encourages community ownership of renewable generation plant. He closed with a ‘clear and unambiguous message that people can come together… and can take control.’
Collective ownership of the means of energy production has a distinguished history: it was proposed by Vladmir Lenin, enforced by Josef Stalin and implemented through the National Coal Board and the CEGB. Some readers may be concerned about the direction that Mr Davey’s thoughts appear to be taking.