CIC Start Online is in The Scottish Green List 2010 of the 20 top projects and initiatives for sustainable development

Follow cicstartonline on Twitter

Follow us on twitter!

Energy co-operatives as a means of achieving sustainability within the housing sector

17 Jun 2011
This event has now finished and the information below is for reference only.

Click here to register for updates on forthcoming events at CIC Start Online.

Where: Seminar room 505, Buchanan House, 58 Port Dundas Road, Glasgow G4 0HG
Times: 14:00 - 15:30


Our dependency on energy is threatened by two realities: dwindling supplies of fossil fuels and rising levels of environmental pollution. With this in mind, alternative sources of energy are increasingly being turned to, including the technologies to harbour these. Various national and international targets have been set, focusing upon the limiting of climate changing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the uptake of renewable sources of energy – and Scotland is no exception. 

The use of both solar and wind power are first of all considered as a means to facilitate the above scenario, focusing upon the application of solar photovoltaic panels and wind turbines for the generation of electricity and thermal water heaters for the provision of hot water in our homes and buildings.

These systems are evaluated in terms of their dynamics, structure types, strengths and weaknesses, plus a reflection of their current levels of adoption and potential for future application. The financial incentives offered at Government level to help encourage the uptake are also assessed, including that of the feed-in tariff and renewable heat incentive. 

Leading on from this, the co-operative approach to renewable energy is thoroughly examined in which to achieve scale, manage risk and raise capital – whilst maintaining the benefits locally.

A co-operative entity is one which is owned and controlled by the members, who can be employees, businesses or consumers. It has been observed that those countries adopting the co-operative approach, with individuals and societies getting involved and working together, have the greatest success with regards to renewable energy (Energy4All 2010). The three main business models which can be best applied to this sector are subsequently detailed; namely the co-operative consortium, employee owned business and the community co-operative.

The line of reasoning for the co-operative movement is strengthened by real life applications of the three models, including the Boyndie Wind Farm Co-operative in Aberdeenshire, Eaga in Newcastle, and the Edinburgh Community Energy Co-operative. Further consideration is given to the Isle of Eigg as a model community for renewable energy. Discussion is also accompanied by interviews with two business associates currently operating in the co-operative sector. 

The co-operative model can be adapted to suit all types of situations, regardless of only two or two-thousand people being involved.

The video concludes with some final food-for-thought, in which to engage with the audience and help with the identification of areas within their own lives (business and personal) where co-operation could apply.



Prof Tariq Muneer, Edinburgh Napier University

Sarah Borthwick, Edinburgh Napier University


There are two ways to attend this event.

All CIC Start Online members will be invited to attend the online conference and will receive an email on the morning of the event.

Online attendance is free of charge to CIC Start Online members.

Please register as a member here – project membership is free.


You can also attend the conference in person - after the video is finished there will be time for discussion with the speaker, providing opportunities for networking with fellow delegates and the conference speakers.

If you wish to attend the seminar in person, please complete the registration form below.



Sorry this event is now fully booked.


Streaming events for Scotland

echo "neero";