09 Jul 2024

‘Just transition’ brought to life at AGM with a visit to England’s largest community owned onshore wind turbine

Following our Annual General Meeting (AGM), shareholders visited the Ambition Community Energy (ACE) wind turbine in the countdown to Community Energy Fortnight.
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Article written by anna.cooper

On Friday 28th June, we were delighted to welcome shareholders to our AGM at The Station in Bristol and online.  All resolutions were passed with a significant majority, and it was inspiring to have Professor Nick Robins from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment join us for a fireside chat on navigating a just energy transition.

“Just transition is essentially a strategy to ensure as we take action on climate that we are doing it in a way that is as fair and inclusive as possible…it’s a process of change where we’re maximising the social and economic benefits and opportunities in terms of jobs, quality of jobs, gender balance, community impact and so on and then also minimising and managing any negative impacts… ensuring that as we do that we are involving communities in the process of change so they are agents of change in the process.“

Nick Robins, Professor in Practice for Sustainable Finance, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

After the meeting, we invited shareholders to visit the community owned ACE wind project. We are extremely proud to have invested £4 million to fund the construction of this turbine – England’s largest. It was particularly special to visit the site just ahead of Community Energy Fortnight which celebrates the importance of community-led energy projects just like this. Thrive are proud to be sponsoring the two week campaign run by Community Energy England for the fourth year running.

On site, Mark Pepper, Development Manager at Ambition Lawrence Weston, the charity that formed ACE, shared the inspiring story behind the project, which is owned by the local community. Profits generated from the turbine will be reinvested back into the local area at Lawrence Weston, Bristol, acting as a driver for regeneration. ACE also plan to build an Energy Learning Zone to inspire young people and provide training to upskill residents for zero carbon careers.

“Community development and climate action are exactly the same thing, both audiences talking in a different narrative but wanting the same things. So now we’re really in tune with climate and have a massive climate action plan to bring awareness to residents around climate action and how at the end of the day it’s us, the poorer areas, who will be impacted most by climate change.

We hear a lot about this just transition – in the community centre we’re talking to education providers and local businesses to develop a renewable energy skills academy in our local community so that if a just energy transition does come about, our residents are in the best place to take advantage of those highly paid, highly skilled jobs.”

Mark Pepper, Development Manager, Ambition Lawrence Weston

It was also great to have Darren Jones, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, join us for the visit.