Cirencester-based developer of solar farms and roofs, Low Carbon Solar, has launched the ‘Power to Society’ campaign, following the Coalition Government’s backtracking over funding for community-scale solar energy schemes.

The campaign website provides an opportunity for the public and landowners to register their support for solar energy by simply inputting their postcode in order to send a letter to their MP. The letter urges the Government to stop the early review of pre-set feed-in tariffs and to protect community schemes.

Since the Government’s announcement regarding the fast-track feed-in tariff review for solar PV systems of 50kW and above, many community-scale schemes have been thrown into doubt. Since these community schemes have the potential to provide electricity to tens of thousands of homes and business, the surprise review puts at risk the ability of the UK to meet its climate change targets, which require that 30% of the country’s electricity must come from renewables by 2020, up from just 7% today.

Power to Society is aimed at promoting the wide-ranging benefits of community-scale solar schemes which are typically located on the roofs of large buildings, on land not suitable for agricultural use and on non-utilised industrial or derelict sites. Low Carbon Solar highlights the benefits of these systems, including the creation of new jobs, a diversified income for farmers and landowners, reduced energy costs for businesses and the provision of more secure and reliable energy for the UK.

In addition, for every community scale project Low Carbon Solar develops, it establishes a Parish Trust into which it proposes is paid a fixed sum per megawatt of power, every year for the life of the project. In the case of a 5MW site that would be £25,000 a year for 25 years, or £625,000. Low Carbon Solar also champions local community ownership of sites so that people can benefit from long-term revenue from these developments. This commitment highlights the fact that larger-scale solar developments are not all about making a larger profit.

Mark Shorrock, Chief Executive Officer at Low Carbon Solar and the driving force behind Power to Society said, “In pulling back on a commitment to support solar energy, the Government will cause the abandonment of scores of ‘Big Society’ community-owned schemes and hundreds of other developments that could have seen individual parishes benefit from up to £25,000 every year and more local jobs created

“The ill-conceived and dangerously short-sighted proposals will have further unintended consequence, including the Government missing a European target of generating 30% of electricity from renewables by 2020, and therefore incurring significant fines. We urge people to support the case for solar and sign up to Power to Society now.”

To join the campaign visit the Power to Society site.