Community owned heat & power – for a low carbon village

Over the past year we’ve been working on a very exciting project; leading a Rural Community Energy Funded feasibility study into renewable district heating in a Cumbrian village. We’ve identified a viable project using renewable heat sources and PV solar electricity on a private wire that will create benefits for the whole village and be a possible first for the community energy sector at this scale. We will be continuing to work with the village, community energy organisation, developers and investors to bring this project to fruition.

Community PV in Chester

During 2016 Gill led the UCEF-funded feasibility study and provided project management for Chester Community Energy‘s 50kW PV scheme in partnership with Cheshire West & Chester on Northgate Arena sports centre. The group’s successful share offer raised £62k and the scheme was delivered within the September FIT deadline.

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: new report out

Our new report for Community Energy England shows that community energy organisations generate much more than renewable energy. Our survey of 80 community energy organisations proves the wider benefits they deliver. This evidence makes the case for an exception in the DECC’s proposed FITs changes, and provides strong support for the #keepfits campaign to enable this small but important sector to continue to deliver. Click here for the report.


Carbon Literacy training pack to be used for 6000 social landlord staff

Cooler Projects asked Quantum to develop a training pack in Carbon Literacy for Social Landlords across Greater Manchester to train both staff and residents. The Carbon Literacy Project aims to provide everyone who lives, works or studies in Manchester a day’s worth of Carbon Literacy training. The training covers climate change, carbon footprints, how you can do your bit and how it’s relevant to your audience. It supports individual action and collective action.

Quantum’s training pack has learning materials, video links, presentations, hand-outs and exercises along with a User Guide for the trainer and information on assessing the learners against the Carbon Literacy Standard. It also includes training administration resources including sign in and evaluation sheets.

Phil Korbel from Cooler Projects said “Quantum manage that rare trick of combining technical experise with top notch project management and an affable relationship with the client. Their passion to promote sustainable development was very helpful too.”

Data in action – testing the UN’s urban sustainable development goal in Greater Manchester

When the University of Salford’s SURF project needed rapid research and data collection for a global pilot project to test out proposed UN indicators on cities, they asked Quantum to help.

We delivered a rapid project to pilot the targets and indicators for the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals #11 “Make Cities and Human Settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” We ran a workshop with Greater Manchester local authorities, AGMA and United Utilities to prioritise which indicators to test and to prioritse which were most relevant to the city. Following on, we gathered and analysed a large volume of data and discussed if and how it might help make Greater Manchester more inclusive, safer, resilient and sustainable. International targets and indicators need to be locally relevant, yet internationally comparable. How can we compare slum indicators for Greater Manchester with those in Cape Town?

We presented our findings at the Urban Goal Campaing workshop in Sweden which compared our findings in Greater Manchester with other pilots in Kenya, Sweden, South Africa and India. Our findings have been published as part of an international report to inform the UN process of determining Sustainable Development Goals; an academic article has been co-authored for publication later in 2015 and a local report will be prepared.

Dr Beth Perry, SURF Director said “Yet again Quantum proved an excellent partner in our research work. I was extremely impressed – not only by their professionalism and high quality outputs, but also by their collegiality and the values and commitment that underpin their work.”

Please email if you’d like a copy of the report or if you’re developing indicators for your city or project.

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.

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