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Thank you!

The one-time 'fracking village' is tripling its solar power, thanks to your support. Donations are now closed.

 

The people of Balcombe are putting 400 solar panels on two local schools.

 
 

With help from supporters all over the country, they've successfully raised the £110,000 they need to go ahead with the installation!

These new installations will more than triple Balcombe's community-owned solar power, generating income for local projects and moving the one-time 'fracking village' closer to a solar powered future.

Unfortunately we can't accept any more donations to this project. Huge thanks for your inspiring generosity!

 

Watch: the story of Balcombe

 

Welcome to Balcombe, a beautiful, quiet village in West Sussex.

In summer 2013, a fracking company arrived with drills. Surprisingly, it did not go well.

So the village did what villages do best. They held a public meeting.

They agreed that if they didn't take control of their energy, someone else would. So they set up a co-op called Repower Balcombe, and got to work installing solar panels around the village. 

The plan was to match 100% of Balcombe's electricity needs with locally owned solar power.

But just as it all started to come together, government cuts scuppered their ambitious solar farm plan.

Now they've bounced back. They're installing 400 solar panels on two local schools, and the solar farm is being built by a commercial developer.  

 

 
 

Balcombe is just the beginning

This isn't just about one village. It's a chance to prove that a better way can work.

 
Copenhagen's offshore wind turbines are owned by the municipal power company and 10,000 citizen investors. Photo: Thomas Rousing

Copenhagen's offshore wind turbines are owned by the municipal power company and 10,000 citizen investors. Photo: Thomas Rousing

Local doesn't have to mean small

Today's community energy projects are mostly quite small, but that's starting to change.

Citizen-owned clean power is already a big part of the mix in Germany – with the right support, we can do it too.

 

We can ditch fossil power sooner than you think

While some were busy insisting that a fossil-free grid was impossible, others have been working away to make it happen.

With cheap energy storage, large-scale tidal power and demand-shifting schemes all racing ahead, the future might be closer than you think.

 
Jackie and Laurie watching the solar installation at Balcombe primary school. Photo: Tom Chadwick

Jackie and Laurie watching the solar installation at Balcombe primary school. Photo: Tom Chadwick

Balcombe can show the way

Since the fracking furore in 2013, Balcombe has been the reluctant poster child for the UK's energy debate.

What happens here reverberates around the world, and they've already inspired other places threatened by flooding and fracking to follow in their footsteps.

 

Not just a local story