Action for Sustainable Living (AfSL), the award-winning Manchester-based eco charity has lost a bid to create three community renewable energy hubs across the city. On Monday 31st October, they announced that they had not been selected as one of twenty finalists in a competition run by EnergyShare, a fund that supports community-led renewable energy projects across Great Britain,.
Josh Steiner of AfSL told Manchester Climate Monthly that the project will now remain on hold as they lack the financial resources to launch it. The AfSL project, named RENEW, wanted to establish three energy hubs which would serve as ‘models of best practice’ and ‘inspire their local communities to undertake locally-led energy projects including demand creation programmes for renewable, carbon literacy training and engagement, energy procurement projects and more.’
The energy hubs were to have been located in Trafford, Chorlton Church of England Primary School and Manchester Metropolitan University. Although AfSL has lost its bid, Steiner says that that MMU, one of the principal partners, is still interested in how they can take the project forward in other ways. However, he noted that they themselves wouldn’t be able to take the project forward even on a smaller scale.
Steiner also speculated that as AfSL’s bid and the Carbon Co-op’s proposal had some overlap, EnergyShare may have decided to choose just one of the Manchester-based projects. The Carbon Co-op’s proposal is now of twenty projects from which the final five will be chosen. Steiner added they will continue to promote the Carbon Co-op’s project and will look into ways of supporting them if their project gets the go-ahead.
River Cottage and British Gas are the founding partners of EnergyShare and have made £500K available for this first round of funding.