Renew Wales: West Wales Regional Event 2015
Renew Wales was delighted to support Carmarthenshire Energy Limited (CEL) to deliver a regional event in West Wales.
The highlight of the event was undoubtedly the launching of Carmarthenshire Energy Limited’s share offer to install a community owned wind turbine. Over the lifetime of the project it will generate £2 million that will be re-invested in community initiatives across Carmarthenshire. There is still a chance to invest in this scheme if you are interested. The deadline for electronic transfers and applications is the 26th of November. For more information click here
Neil Lewis the Chairman of CEL provided a rousing talk on why he has dedicated his life, after leaving his dentistry profession to working to create greater opportunities for locally owned energy in Wales. He spoke passionately about how by investing in locally owned energy we can keep the income generated locally and re-invest it in other community initiatives. This does not only relate to the profit that the scheme generates but by launching a community share offer and inviting local people to invest then much of the interest repayments also goes back to people within the community and Wales.
During the day members of Vocaleyes a digital democracy platform invited people to use their platform to help generate ideas for how CEL could promote their share offer to local people. Some great ideas were generated and we hope that they will be useful in helping CEL to raise their target.
Helen Murry from Planed provided an insightful overview of the Rural Development Plan programme in Pembrokeshire and in particular the LEADER programme. The support of Renewable Energy was one of the outcomes so there is a great opportunity for Community Energy groups to get support via their local leader programmes if they are based in rural parts of Wales.
Finally we heard from some of the Renew Wales co-ordinators working in the local area who are delivering a variety of projects from a community land trust in St David’s and marine energy project near Fish guard to Pallet furniture making with young people in Carmarthen. All these presentations beautifully accompanied in song fROm the multi-talented Ben Ferguson Walker a founding member of CEL and Renew Wales co-ordinator.
It was great to see the diversity of projects going on across the South West of Wales and support another through the launch of CEL’s share offer. Due to UK government’s recent announcement to remove tax relief for Community Energy share offers there are many community energy projects across the UK who have launched share offers to try and enable investors to claim back income tax on their investment. You can find details about all of them here.