Sustainable Energy

Innovation lessons from community energy groups in Greater Manchester

The GM Community Energy Innovation Toolkit is for community energy organisations and others interested in developing prjects tobenefit local people and the environment in an ever-changing context. It includes project stories, lessons and useful information. Top 10 innovation lessons. Upcoming technologies and models for communty energy and links to support. Quantum supported the four projects through their innovation projects, and held a workshop with 14 community energy organisations to test the findings and develop the toolkit format. Download the document GM Community Energy Innovation Toolkit.

Community Energy Innovation Toolkit Support & Research

Greater Manchester’s Low Carbon Hub have launched a community energy innovation project. Funded by DBEIS and supported by Oldham Council, the project has awarded four community energy groups grant funding to develop innovative ideas for sustainable community energy business models to give the sector a boost in the wake of cuts to the Feed In Tariff and other subsidies. The four projects look at different opportunity areas e.g. selling electricity to multiple customers, setting up a CESCO, engaging lower income households, replicability of whole house retrofit, community biomass

The outcome will be a toolkit report which will summarise the innovations in a way which makes it easy for other groups across the country to use to develop their own new projects. Overseeing the project will be Quantum Strategy and Technology, experts in the sector who will ensure that links are made between the project and other innovations currently taking place across the country. We are keen to speak to any community energy groups who want to input into or discuss the project, or have similar examples they can share.

Please contact either Gill or Louise at Quantum – and

APSE Energy Consultancy

Quantum are delighted to be part of APSE Energy Consultancy which provides a full range of expert consultancy services to member local authorities and public bodies on energy, Climate Change and green economy related matters. We provide strategic advice, technical feasibility and business case development and project management expertise to support local authority energy projects. We also provide facilitation and stakeholder engagement.

APSE Energy aims to form an effective collaboration of a large number of local authorities to enable and facilitate the municipalisation of energy services. We recently faciliated an event for members at Matlock, examining how to convert brownfield or former industrial sites for local authority renewable energy.

Financing large scale investment in renewable energy – briefing out now

Local Authorities are working with reduced budgets. There is very little grant funding available yet many Local Authorities are implementing renewable energy schemes.

Why are they doing this? And how do they achieve it?

Financing Large Scale Renewables – FINAL – July 2014

This new CLASP  briefing written by Warrington Borough Council and Quantum explains the benefits, finance options and practical steps to take for Local Authority investments in renewable energy projects.   The overarching lesson from officers interviewed for this briefing is ‘just get on with it’ – the business case is still a good one for the right technologies in the right place.   The guide contains examples of a range of real-life projects led by authorities and covers:

  1. Essential Background
  2. Making Your Project Happen
  3. Financing and Ownership Options
  4. FAQs
  5. Resources

We hope you find it useful. Let us know how you get on or if you need any support.

Lancaster Cohousing wins Observer Ethical Award for Community Energy

Lancaster Cohousing, supported by MORE Renewables, has won the Observer ethical award for community energy – very chuffed! Steve Wigley was involved from the early stages, particularly the micro-grid and biomass boiler, and Gill has been involved in the MORE-owned PV system. Quantum’s new office is based in the business unit at the Mill.  Gill and Steve are (voluntary) Directors of Morecambe Bay Community Renewables.


Local authority investments in renewables – making it happen

Many local authorities are investing in renewable energy to generate income, tackle climate change and challenge fuel poverty.

Quantum has teamed up with Warrington Borough Council to produce a practical “How To” Guide to finance options, that will include case studies and practical issues such as “How long will it take?” “Who needs to be involved?” “How much will it cost to set up?” “What’s the risk?” In March we held a learning event to:

  • Learn about large scale investment in renewable energy by local authorities: what are the benefits, what options are available
  • Explore how to get projects off the ground: who to convince, what are the risks, what information you need, who you need to work with, how much the project development work costs and how long it takes
  • Look at how local authorities are funding their projects: prudential borrowing, share offers, funding for feasibility studies
  • Hear from officers at Warrington Borough Council and Rochdale
  • Examine successful examples of business cases for investment
  • Case studies of PV on social housing, solar farms, large scale wind, district heating etc.
  • Look at moving on from generating for your own use: how to sell electricity, tackle fuel poverty, set up and Energy Services Company, establish further projects.

You can read about the event here:

and we’ll be publishing the final briefing soon.

Watch this space.

Blackburn with Darwen Sustainable Procurement

Louise worked with BwD LSP to recruit an active team of procurement, business and community representatives and sustainability experts. She facilitated a series of active, focussed meetings to help them develop a Sustainable Procurement Policy for the LSP, which was adopted in February 2011. She worked with the group to focus them on what was needed to enable active supplier engagement and to embed sustainability and carbon reduction in the suppliers own operations and into procurement. The group developed a PQQ and tested and piloted this. They are now working on ongoing supplier engagement, staff training and on sharing lessons between the group to ensure that during the budget cuts to the public sector, sustainability does not drop off the agenda, but remains firmly embedded into procurement in the LSP.

To view the report click here:  Sustainable Procurement Learning Document

NW Regional Assembly Climate Change Briefings

A series of briefings on climate change to councillors and senior executives in all 46 local authorities in NW England. Includes development of action plans for mitigation and adaptation within their spheres of influence.

SEE Cumbrian and Rural Enterprise Agency publications for Blencathra FSC and Kirkstone Pass Inn.

Mini Sterns

Studies looking at the impact on an area’s economy of current and planned legislation and regulations addressing climate change.

Manchester Knowledge Capital

Manchester Is My Planet – An initiative involving all 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester as well as other public and private sector stakeholders to reduce the carbon footprint of the city-region.