Rural areas set to benefit from refreshed £10mn Clean Energy fund

Sports clubs, churches and schools could be able to save money and reduce emissions by creating their own clean energy with the support of the government’s £10mn Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF).

On Wednesday 19 June, the government called on new community projects to apply for feasibility grants of up to £40,000 for green initiatives such as solar battery storage, wind, hydro and geothermal projects. It also noted that viable proposals will be considered for further grants of up to £100,000 for business development and planning applications.

It is hoped the scheme now in its second phase will help increase energy self-sufficiency in rural communities and boost jobs in green technology. The fund has already helped over 150 rural communities to become cleaner and more sustainable, allowing them to make money by returning extra energy to the grid.

One project backed by the RCEF saw 200kW of solar capacity installed at Frome Town FC, generating almost £70,000 for the local community with excess solar power sold back to the grid.