Forest Community Energy

Just because the Government is back-tracking on its commitment to reduce carbon emissions doesn’t mean we have to. In fact recent Government decisions to support new fossil fuel projects and delay the necessary national switch to renewable energy makes it all the more important that we do what we can ourselves locally.

And that’s exactly what’s happening in the Forest of Dean.

A project has begun in Lydney which will enable Forest residents to get actively involved in rolling out big rooftop solar installations across the district.

At the Dean Academy and the Leisure Centre a combined total of 785 PV panels are set to be fitted on the roofs. What’s particularly exciting is that a share offer is about to be launched in connection with this which will mean local people can part-own the project – and help generate the funds for similar schemes on suitable big-roof buildings throughout the Forest.

Forest Community Energy is the group behind the project. It was recently launched after the Forest of Dean was chosen (thanks to Cllr Chris McFarling) as the only UK site for a European Union-backed renewable energy project known as Aurora. Central to Aurora has been to set up a big PV installation, and at the same time act as a catalyst for future action on reducing carbon emissions. And it’s worked. Volunteers stepped forward and formed Forest Community Energy; a local group, run by local people, to work on reducing carbon emissions locally.

The community energy share offer linked to the Lydney PV installation is due to go live in the very near future. It will cost £100 for one share. Buying a share is a way for people who can’t install renewable energy at home for whatever reason, to still help make renewable energy happen locally. It’s also a way people can help keep a community asset viable, because PV installations reduce energy costs. And of course it’s a great way of investing money ethically.

Forest Community Energy is also running a Thermal Imaging Project which lends the equipment to enable people to track where the heat is leaking from in their homes, and then provides energy advice on how to fix the problem.

For more information on the project and how to get involved search online for Forest of Dean Community Energy, or Aurora Forest of Dean. Or visit: