The FIT should remain at the old rate for community schemes and any profits to be used to help the poorest in the community eg to have energy efficient, well insulated homes and have access to sustainable and affordable travel.
It's a hard fact of life that community groups usually aren't generating large amounts of income to fund loans to install renewable energy solutions. The reality of the FiT cut, together with the removal of grant funding for renewables, is that our project can't go ahead. It simply isn't feasible anymore. There seem to be plenty of grants for community investigations into energy efficiency, but none in our area for renewables. There really does need to be a balance. Community installations are just that - they benefit whole communities, and not just the rich. If the Government wants to reach all types of people and benefit the maximum number of recipients, then the FiT for community installations needs to stay as it is.
PV on a community building achieve many things: High profile for renewables in the community, income for a community, encouragement to many people to live within renewable output, timing activities to match energy production (eg possible community vehicle battery charge point), an affordable space for people to get together fostering social wellbeing and saving people wasting energy in individual homes (collective heating, cooking, lighting is a huge saving). It is possible to get communities to pool money to afford to install as community halls seldom have reserves, another great social accelerator. But for this the FIT needs to be reasonable, I would suggest 30p KWh up to 17 kWh or something close to this.
I work for a micro-hydro installation company and a frequent barrier to hydro installations is the initial capital cost, even if they will generate enough electricity for several houses and receive revenue in the future. It would be great if there was a framework for those in the local community to invest in the project and receive a return on investment from (community) FiTs. It needs to be simple and secure for everyone involved. It would make so much sense to allow those in the community with the funds to support those with the hydro resource. I know renewable projects have been supported in this way, but setting this up from scratch is daunting and time consuming for those not experienced. Maybe there is some sort of applicable investment framework already exists? please let me know if so. If not the community FiT could provide the opportunity to set this up.