(The 4 Lunches) (Admin Madness) (The Technology)

Lydney Local Power Scheme


The Countryside Agency was aiming to redevelop the docks and canal in Lydney with a marina and some renewable energy features. In partnership with the Severn Wye Energy Agency they decided to try and encourage renewable and saving energy projects throughout the town and established the the Lydney Local Power Scheme 3 years ago, staffed with an officer for the guidance and direction of community, business and local government partnership initiatives.

They have been offering energy conservation advise, investigating potential renewable energy projects, talking with housing developers, and more. Despite many small successes, the bigger renewable energy making projects have remained just out of grasp. A big community owned wind turbine is still fighting for planning permission 3 years on, a hydro plant proposal slipped from community ownership into the hands of the river site owners, while developers stood steadfast against including renewable energy features on new housing.

Renewable energy projects have never been more suitable for community ownership. The research and paperwork required recommends joint ownership, while investments in them are probably more reliable than a pension or long term savings.

Yet even with administrative support, large projects appear to be unrealisable. While I am sure part of the problem is the shear enormity of the paperwork, I suspect it also demonstrates the extent of the success of Margaret Thatcher's doctrine - society does not exist, only a collection of family units, the community unit is barely functioning in the UK. Without it, the future of local renewable energy looks bleak.