Convenor of the Green New Deal group and LWM co-founder, Colin Hines, has long advocated the restoration of confidence by a national and/or local government facilitated safe haven for savings.

The emphasis was on the housing and transport infrastructure, c2007, but more recently GND emphasis has focussed on developing a public and private works programme to cut carbon emissions. 

Some businesses and communities are leading the way, see further details about the recent news of Ecotricity’s oversubscribed bond launch which will enable the company to speed up its investment in wind and solar ‘farms’. 

Another cheering development: in April news broke of community investment: a solar power station owned by local people. £300,000 was raised by a community group to put an array of 544 photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof of Harvey’s in Lewes – a family business dating back at least to the year 1790 – the oldest independent brewery in Sussex.

Positive News and others reported that Transition Lewes had formed the Ouse Valley Energy Services Company Limited (Ovesco), which launched the scheme at Lewes Town Hall. 

Over 200 local people have invested amounts between £250 and a few thousand pounds and money invested will be repaid in full to shareholders at the end of the 25-year scheme. The share launch evening began with £170k already pledged. 

The installation is expected to generate 92,000 kilowatt hours of green electricity each year – enough to save more than 40 tonnes of CO2 annually. Assembled in Wales by Sharp and guaranteed for 25 years, the panels could go on producing electricity for many more years. 

The energy generated will be used by Harvey’s which has leased its roof in exchange for free electricity, which will be used primarily to cool its beer, Sunshine Ale. Any surplus will be sold back to the grid, and the additional revenue will be used to fund community projects. 

While earning a 4% return, shareholders will be helping to reduce carbon emissions and investing in the future. 

At the launch, Norman Baker, MP for Lewes and transport minister, said: “Energy should be bottom up, not top down”. He also shared the Green New Deal group’s emphasis on the importance of retro-fitting homes for energy efficiency, which would reduce the need for electricity generation. 

Sara Parkin, founder director of Forum for the Future, also attended the launch.

She added that to reduce the transmission waste, “we need to get the generation sources near to where we are – and the answer to that is small scale renewables”.