A manifesto calling for an increase in the number of communities that can control, generate, save and benefit from their own clean energy has been presented to government by a coalition of UK organisations.

The document sets out a series of policy measures to increase community-owned renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

The Co-operative estimates the UK potential for community owned renewable energy installed by 2020 to be a significant 3.5 GW, the equivalent of four conventional power stations.

Paul Monaghan, head of socials at The Co-operative said: “The majority of people in the UK want to see a massive increase in renewable energy; however, there is a powerful minority set against this. Community-owned renewables offer a brilliant way to break this logjam, and this manifesto sets out what needs to happen in order for this to happen. Our towns, villages and districts are full of hundreds of groups all chomping at the bit to do their bit to generate and save energy locally and fight climate change."

A recent ICM opinion poll found that 68% of the public would support local renewable energy projects, which were owned by and benefited the community, and 77% of respondents agreed that communities should benefit from local renewable energy projects.