I guess that many of you will have applied for funding under DECC LEAF and some have been lucky while others need to look around again for alternative schemes. Those that have not received an indication that an award may be granted to their project will have mixed feelings about the effort that they invested in preparing an unsuccessful bid. Those who submitted a proposal that the LEAF team of experts liked will now have a new challenge to spend the money and deliver results by 31 March.
The time pressures that are involved with a number of recent announcements from DECC continue to challenge some of us and disappoint others. My guess is that we should all welcome every new funding announcement and the associated incremental increases in media attention on community renewable energy schemes. It seems that the commercial trend to rush everything through to meet artificial deadlines is something that will continue to influence grant funding and sponsorship competitions. Perhaps these short notice deadlines are a force for good in as much as it helps to reduce the number of schemes that are disappointed in the process of preparing a bid that receives no award.
My feeling is that none of the work that is invested in preparing a bid is wasted. Each time that we prepare a bid we learn a little more about what is important for our community in the schemes that we hope to deliver. On that basis we need to renew our efforts to present the best opportunities for assessment by all those philanthropic, governmental or institutional funding opportunities that we hear about. More than that, I believe we should take care to tell everyone that the opportunity exists because competing with other well thought out schemes will help us all to make our own plans that bit better.
So what is my point? Well, I have just learnt about a scheme that is being offered by The Co-operative Group. There can only be six winners but that is better than one! We all know of a community energy scheme that we believe is worthy of support so we should all gather our resources and seek to present a bid. You can find out more at this website http://www.co-operative.coop/2012/whats-happening/latest-news/Community-Energy-Challenge/
The main thing is that we should all keep trying. One day, if our scheme has the right merits and appeals to a particular panel of experts we will be successful. That is a dream worth working for.