Abhijeet Acharya

Walden University United Arab Emirates
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Feed-in-Tariff Removal in UK’s Community Energy: Analysis and Recommendations for Business Practices

This paper aims to analyze the implications of Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) support removal in the UK’s community energy sector and make recommendations for future business practices. European countries, including the UK, have recognized the critical role of Community Energy Cooperatives (CECs) in achieving low-carbon-energy transition targets through citizen engagements. However, due to the withdrawal of FIT support and other incentives in the UK, CECs struggle to sustain their profitability and growth. The subsidy-free, market-oriented policies have necessitated that CECs explore new business opportunities in collaboration with other actors of the business ecosystems. In this paper, we reviewed the impact of FIT support removal on community groups in the UK's member states, England, Scotland, and Wales. We analyzed effective business practices that CECs could follow to improve business viability and achieve growth. Based on our review, we make three recommendations for the business practices that can help CECs to remain profitable and grow in the UK’s subsidy-free environment. We recommend that CECs 1) take part in shared ownership projects, 2) collaborate with local actors for bottom-up initiatives, and 3) explore low-interest financing models within the business ecosystem. The implication of findings from this paper includes new knowledge for CEC managers and policymakers in countries where the community energy sector is at a novice stage.

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