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United Kingdom

Seminar on community ovwnership

Local authorities in south and west Wales are showing an interest in community owned wind energy schemes. Economic development officers and planning officers from local councils throughout Dyfed and south Powys attended a one-day seminar in Carmarthen last month to learn about the potential for community and co-operative wind projects.

The event was organised by the Wales Co-operative Development and Training Centre which hopes to encourage local involvement in wind development. "I see no reason why it could not happen here as it does on the continent," says Stuart Fry from the Wales Co-op Centre.

One of his aims in holding the seminar is to urge local authorities to look at community-owned wind schemes as community businesses that can help with their programmes to regenerate rural areas.

"Projects would be owned and managed by local people and the surplus profits would be ploughed back into the communities," he says. He believes this type of wind energy development would be more acceptable to people in Wales who are concerned at the rush to exploit their wind regime by developers from other parts of the UK and overseas. "We are seeing greater opposition to large scale developments by outsiders, but there really is not much understanding of the potential of small scale ones."

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