Business skills

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Brighton Energy Co-operative’s Chairman has a background in business – he has built financial models to do with publishing, travel and online marketing. When the UK Government introduced the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) system, he began building a financial model to assess the business opportunities presented. He found two things: (1) modelling using FITs delivered reasonable returns and (2) renewables were not cheap. He realised that to get a project off the ground would require the involvement of other people – lots of other people. And so he developed a financial model based on community ownership to leverage in more funds and to enable the wider community to benefit from the opportunities. His business and financial skills became increasing important as the group had to adapt to changing levels of subsidy under the FIT system.

Source: Community-Led Photovoltaic Initiatives action pack