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Guardian to host debate on energy co-operatives

The Guardian newspaper is to host a live debate on the benefits of community-owned renewables and their role in the future.

The Q&A will consider:

• How community-owned renewables are good for the community, investors, the environment and the co-operative economy.

• The contribution that small scale renewables projects can make to the UK’s overall green energy output

• Whether community-ownership can increase public awareness and local acceptance of renewable energy projects

• The enabling environment how public policy could be doing more

• How to get a community renewables scheme of the ground – what support is out there?

Bringing together experts from the corporate, co-operative and academic sectors, in their roles as funders, renewable energy producers and advocates, our panel will provide a wealth of insight on the benefits of community-owned renewables, the role it has to play in the UK’s green energy solution and the hurdles to the sector’s growth.

If you’d like to leave a question, please do so in the comments section below, or come back to ask it live - and follow the debate - on Thursday 2 February from 1pm to 3pm.

Over 30 new energy co-operatives have been registered in the past four years, generating not only power but the sense of local responsibility, ownership and shared vision that can strengthen and empower communities.