So you use energy, right? Right – who in the UK doesn’t? Everybody in our society (aside from hermits perhaps) uses energy going about their daily lives, no matter what their age, gender or background.
So bear this in mind as you consider that 95% of the energy we use in the UK households is generated by the Big Six energy firms. And then take a look at who heads up those companies. Notice anything?
It’s not exactly representative. And the lack of diversity in the energy generation sector seems even worse when you consider that it’s young people who will have to bear the brunt of climate change.
So a little while ago, UKYCC teamed up with the Centre for Sustainable Energy to launch a project which would help young people to reclaim the power that we use. The Community Energy Catalysts project was born.
Since then we’ve been empowering young people to get involved in community energy. Each young catalyst has been paired up with an experienced mentor and we’ve run a programme of seminars and webinars to give them the tools they need to set up their own community energy initiative – covering everything from tackling the planning system to making sure they’re ace project managers. Our catalysts are currently finalising their project plans. From the conversations we’ve been having, it looks like there will be a good spread of technologies and approaches; some people are getting involved with improving energy efficiency in their community buildings, whereas others are focussing on renewable generation.
What’s so exciting about this project is that it both places energy generation squarely within the community and puts power back into the hands of young people. Community energy is the flavour of the month right now and there are new projects run by teams of willing volunteers springing up all over the place. Unfortunately though, community energy schemes can sometimes seem a little inaccessible to young people. That’s why UKYCC are so keen to act as facilitators, joining up the dots to provide the participants with the contacts and skills they need to succeed.
This week UKYCC is supporting the Reclaim Power week of action on energy. We are joining our voices with those of others all around the world to resist dirty, harmful energy and fight for real sustainable solutions. On Friday we joined other movements and NGOs in calling for an end to outdated coal power generation. Today we are highlighting our shared support for community led energy solutions by joining the day of action on community energy.
If we’ve whetted your appetite and you want to get more involved in the youth community energy movement and find out how you can be part of Reclaim the Power, please get in contact!