Yellow weather warning in force. See Met Office for more information.

State of the sector

State of the sector

Our research shows that in 2018 communities in the North West generated 23.5GWh of energy, equivalent to the energy demand of 7,800 UK homes. Carbon emissions were reduced by 6,600 tCO2e or 3,300 return flights to New York.

As the region’s electricity network operator, we will play a key role in the delivery of a future energy system. One of the ways we are leading the North West to zero carbon is to help people and businesses across the region to generate their own energy.

We have been working with Community Energy England to carry out research into community energy activities in 2018. The aim of the research was to learn more about people and diversity within the community energy sector, the impacts and benefits of energy projects, the motivations and challenges faced and the future of the community energy sector.

The research sets a benchmark for the sector moving forward and provides a clear indication on where the North West sits in terms of community energy.

Key findings include:

  • Communities across the region raised a total investment of £665,000 to support at least four community energy projects
  • Two new community electricity generation projects were completed, generating a total of 58kW
  • Cumbria has the greatest generation capacity compared to the rest of the North West
  • Over 200 physical energy efficiency improvements were completed
  • Communities in the North West accessed £204K of funding to develop energy projects
  • Across 13 organisations with community benefit funds, £70,600 was distributed via grants, loans and donations with North West communities
  • Communities in the North West reduced carbon emissions through wider energy efficiency, low carbon transport and education projects
  • Community energy groups are motivated mainly by tackling climate change and generating income to benefit the community
  • Removal of the feed-in-tariff was cited by 30% of respondents as a major barrier to their work.

For the complete findings from our research you can read the full report below.