It was back in 1997 that the blades started spinning on the UK’s first co-operatively owned wind farm, Baywind, in the Cumbrian fells. Since then, others have followed, from commercial-scale turbines in community ownership like Westmill, to small-scale water power like Torrs Hydro and ‘renewables building societies’ like this one in Oxford. And we know that co-operative ownership can make commercial sense. In Denmark, communities have a stake in most wind energy developments.
But it’s far from easy to make an energy co-op happen, and they are still the exception, not the rule. The market for large-scale, » Continue Reading.