Financing Community Energy Project
Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash 

Financing Community Energy Project

Dates: 2017 – 2019
Funders: UK Energy Research Centre


This project aims to provide the first systematic quantitative and qualitative analysis of the role of finance in the evolution of the UK community energy sector. It also seeks to develop recommendations for innovative policies, business models and finance mechanisms that will support future growth of the sector. In light of this, the academic researchers will be working closely with stakeholder organisations across the UK from the outset.

The project involves a literature and data review analysing the development of community energy to date; a UK-wide survey and statistical analysis of community energy finances and business models; in-depth case studies of a range of community energy business models in practice; and an ongoing stream of policy and practice engagement.



Business models and financial characteristics of community energy in the UK. Paper in Nature Energy vol 5, February 2020. Open access view-only copy of paper via Nature SharedIt.

Price support allows communities to raise low-cost citizen finance for renewable energy projects. Nature Energy Policy Brief. Open access view-only copy of Policy Brief via Nature SharedIt.

UK Comunity Energy Business Model: Key Facts

community energy infographic key facts final

UK Community Energy Business Models: Key Facts.Infographic.


The evolution of community energy in the UK. UKERC Working Paper.

Realising the potential: visions for the future of community energy in the UK. UKERC Research Report.




  • Case studies of community energy projects (UKERC report)
  • Ways forward for community energy (academic paper)
  • Policies to support community energy (academic paper)
  • Financing the growth of grassroots innovations: the case of community energy in the UK (academic paper)
  • Approaches to understanding the co-benefits of community energy (academic paper)



Professor Carly McLachlan, Tyndall Manchester
Dr Sarah Mander, Tyndall Manchester
Dr Maria Sharmina, Tyndall Manchester
Dr Ed Manderson, University of Manchester
Dr Matt Hannon, University of Strathclyde
Dr Jeff Hardy, Imperial College
Dr Tim Braunholtz-Speight, Tyndall Manchester
Dr Ian Cairns, University of Strathclyde



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