Community Energy England (CEE) announced on 5 December that it has joined forces with the leaders of six major supermarkets – Tesco, Morrisons, M&S, the Co-op Group, Central Co-op and Midcounties Co-operative – to urge the government to “green the energy grid”. In a letter sent to the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, they stated the need for the government to work with businesses to unlock additional renewable energy generation capacity, including directly funding wind or solar energy farms. It highlighted the findings of Cornwall Insight research, commissioned by The Co-op, which revealed that only 18.5% of planned renewable generation is assessed as highly likely to develop as planned and that grid decarbonisation is not going fast enough, with current projections suggesting that the grid will only be at 58% renewable generation by 2030.
The letter calls on the government to help create a framework for the future in order to seize the opportunities that renewable energy offers. It specifically calls for: fiscal and financial action to encourage and incentivise investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency; reforms to planning regimes so renewable energy schemes can rapidly move from concept to operation; support for community energy organisations to develop projects which involve the wider public in the net zero transition; and changes to the way the energy market operates to ensure a fair price for green energy for households and industry.