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Comment - Energy and Climate Change

Brixton Solar by David Flint.

The speaker at our May meeting was Agamemnon Otero, Director and project manager of Brixton Solar.

Brixton Solar has created the UK's first community-owned renewable energy project on social housing. For well over an hour Agamemnon fascinated us with his explanations of the benefits of community organization, raising £60k in three weeks and installing of 37kW of solar panels. Agamemnon sees this as the first step in a programme that will spread from Brixton across South London and ultimately across the whole of the UK. (Such was his enthusiasm we were disappointed that he didn't mention the Moon and Mars. Next decade perhaps!)

He explained that new projects need a south-facing roof and a building where the energy can actually be used during the day - not merely exported to the grid. Organisers must create a 'narrative' to which local people can relate. The opportunity to invest will, he said, encourage feelings of local ownership. Agamemnon pointed to council bureaucracy as the biggest problem. Councils that wish to encourage community energy projects should express formal support, organize meetings to jump-start the process and appoint an official as an internal progress-chaser.

First published in the EGP members newsletter, June 2012

Published and promoted by Bill Linton for Enfield Green Party, both at 39A Fox Lane, London N13 4AJ