By Pure Leapfrog
Our last networking event in 2014 was kindly hosted by Bates Wells Braithwate LLP on the 4th December 2014.
The challenge ahead is not insignificant. The community energy sector needs to develop new financial, technical and social infrastructure to succeed. With this, new markets need to be developed supported by networks of social investors, supply chain partners, service providers and new innovative business models. The presenters explored the vital ingredients required to scale up the community energy sector if it is to achieve the ambitious growth strategy outlined in the government's Community Energy Strategy.
Simon Steeden kicked off with an overview of the policy developments that are most pertinent to the sector and insights from the varied work undertaken by BWB in the social enterprise and charity space.
Ollie Pendered charted the course of pioneering journey of OVESCo which has spurned the development of Community Energy South and the support platform for over a dozen groups in the South East.
Andy Katz, Head of Growth & Innovation Strategy at PA Consulting, brought some fresh insight from outside the sector and introduced the necessary building blocks required for developing a successful strategy in a high growth market.
Tom Hoines, Head of Renewable Sales at Opus challenged the room - how do community groups want to be perceived? Perception of the sector is going to be critical to its success and overlooking this element poses a serious risk.
We would like to thank all our speakers for their useful insights and making their presentations available, and to those of you who attended and contributed to a lively evening.