Could onshore wind help to address fuel poverty?

UK fuel poverty is forecast to rise in 2023, forcing poorer households to ration heating fuel and to suffer the consequent impacts upon their health and wellbeing. Regen, Possible and Community Energy England are working together to explore the viability of combining community wind schemes with electrified heating technology to improve the affordability of energy bills, creating a replicable pathway to end reliance on gas.

Project duration: July – October 2023

Project manager: Jack Adkins

Regen Possible Cee Horiz

As of mid-2023, the Government is forecasting a further rise in fuel poverty to 3.53 million (1 in 7) households and a further widening of the fuel poverty gap to an average of £443 per household, an increase of 31%. One of the main recommendations from the Committee on Fuel Poverty’s (CFP) Annual Report 2023 was to deliver ‘a fair transition to net zero that does not increase fuel poverty’, by seeking to ‘deploy low carbon technologies at least cost, best payback’ as part of an Energy Affordability Strategy. In this context, onshore wind emerges as a pivotal player, offering a sustainable and cost-effective solution in achieving the CFP’s recommendation whilst working towards a decarbonised future.

Regen are working with Community Energy England in supporting UK climate charity Possible to explore how low carbon electric heat technology, such as heat pumps installed in the community or heat networks, powered by locally owned wind could provide affordable, secure energy and a replicable pathway to end reliance on gas while cutting costs and supporting communities.

As part of the Wind+Heat project, Regen will:

  • Analyse the high level costs, savings and payback period of different model wind+heat schemes
  • Highlight areas where energy poverty could be tackled by a community wind+heat scheme, including off-gas grid communities
  • Explore the benefits and challenges for communities looking to develop a community wind scheme
  • Identify potential partners for a wind+heat innovation trial
  • Assess the barriers and produce policy recommendations to enable future wind+heat schemes

People on this project

Jack Adkins
Senior Energy Analyst
As senior energy analyst, Jack applies his skills in analysis, Python, SQL and Machine…
Poppy Maltby
Head of Cities and Regions
Poppy is Head of Cities and Regions at Regen. She is leading our work…
Joel Venn
Head Analyst
As head analyst, Joel is responsible for leading and developing Regen’s analytical team, as…
Rebecca Windemer
Planning and Communities Lead
Rebecca leads our work on planning and communities at Regen. She holds a PhD…

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