Download the briefing here.

Find the latest on the Labour Energy Policy through our briefing that explains what this means for projects and businesses.

To discuss the findings in more detail, and to discuss how your organisation can make sure they are prepared for the election please email Patrick Traynor.

We recently collaborated on the  ‘Breaking through the barriers’ report as part of RSK’s Power On campaign, where industry experts provide their insights to uncover key opportunities in energy development. Breaking through the barriers looks at all the issue that energy developers are facing within their projects.

Working alongside EDF Renewables UK & Ireland, Scottish Renewables, Orrön Energy, Anglo Renewables Ltd, Ecowende, Vattenfall, RSK Wilding, Certus Utility Consulting Ltd (An RSK Company),Proeon Systems Ltd., WRc Group and RSK Environment.

 

Our key takeaways include:

  • The need for a compelling story, communities will be more likely to buy into the projects, making consent easier to achieve.
  • Social views have the power to drive change, as they often garner a response from policymakers.
  • When projects become realised, vocal opposition is understandably commonplace, but the key is to set this voice in context.
  • Informed consent is achievable when armed with political alignment and the right communications tactics.

 

Let’s get into the detail:

 

Creating a voice for the people

People are at the heart of the consenting process, often determining the success or failure of a project. If we develop a voice and an approach to communication that demonstrates a longer-term commitment to relationship building and community shaping, and if we pair that with an integrated delivery plan as opposed to creating one-off experiences, the path to consent can be far smoother and more rewarding.

 

Educate > build support > advocate

The journey to consent is exactly that: educating key audiences, building support from stakeholders and advocating for projects. It is important to begin educating audiences through data-tested narratives and then working this into a wider campaign that drives awareness and helps define how projects are discussed and regarded. This can help build support in the minds of the decision-makers. Advocacy is driven through leveraging support and ensuring engagement activities and opportunities are provided for stakeholders to advocate the benefits of projects.

 

The value of being data-driven

Staying up to date on the latest insights and public narrative is one thing; understanding how to become a heard voice within the narrative is another.  By using data-led communication strategies, you can gain a better understanding of behaviours and motives driving consent decisions. Data-led strategies also enable aspects of your communications that are under-performing to be established quickly, saving critical programme time and costs for your business. Factoring performance management analytics tools into your strategies is central to delivering effective communications.

 

Interested in finding out more about how to work with Copper? Get in touch today. 

You can explore the live webinars hosted by RSK Group, led by industry experts here

This year’s Solar and Storage Live conference is set to be the biggest yet!

The industry descends on the NEC in Birmingham for its annual showcase event from 17th-19th October.

 

Coming out of the recent political party conference season, Solar and Storage comes at a time when the role of communities in the planning process, net zero and utility-scale solar are all firmly on the political agenda. With a general election on the immediate horizon too, clear battle lines are starting to be drawn.

Despite rumours in a recent Observer piece threatening a resurgence in proposed restrictions to solar farms on agricultural land, the sector can breathe a cautious sigh of relief that, as of yet, there has been no real evidence of a change in policy on this from Rishi Sunak. What the Prime Minster did do however, was to use his recent party conference speech to advocate for a wider rollback of net zero commitments to 2050.

In contrast, the would-be Prime Minister in waiting, Keir Starmer, has put commitment to the development of clean energy front and centre in Labour’s vision for power. At the Labour Party conference, Shadow Secretary for Climate Change and Net Zero, Ed Miliband, also pledged to bring forward an Energy Independence Act which would implement measures for the UK electricity system to be 100% clean power by 2030, and defend the UK against shocks in the global energy market. He also announced that Labour wanted to work with businesses to increase investment, with £2.5bn committed from the public purse to help clean energy industries.

Rejecting Sunak’s recent withdrawal of green policies and investment, Starmer stressed the importance of ‘speeding up’ investment in clean energy. Shadow Minister for Industry and Decarbonisation, Sarah Jones, when speaking at a fringe event on the role the gird can play in unlocking net zero, emphasised that listening to the views of local communities will be essential for this. For utility-scale solar projects, this could also mean rewards of discounted energy bills for the communities hosting them.

Energy Minister, Graham Stuart, will be addressing the industry in person in Birmingham this week. He spoke positively about the role of solar to meet net zero when he addressed the Solar Energy UK’s summer reception earlier this year, and delegates will be wanting to hear more of the same at the NEC.

Copper’s latest report of public attitudes to solar – published earlier this year – found overwhelming support for the technology. But local uncertainty of development naturally leads to doubts during the planning process where reassurance needs to be the strongest. The industry must cut through myths and misinformation to build meaningful consensus and a societal licence for the role which solar, particularly at a utility-scale, will play in achieving UK energy security and net zero.

 

Copper will be attending Solar & Storage Live from 17th-19th October – You can find Copper for a chat on RSK Group’s stand N11 in Hall 5.

On day two our Director Sam Cranston and Senior Account Manager Imogen Fawcett will each be sharing their insights on community-based solar engagement and how to gain public support. If you’re attending and would like to discuss what the recent party conferences mean for solar as we head into the next general election, or how we can bring communities along with us.

Claire Coutinho MP appointed as Secretary of State for Energy and Net Zero on the 31 August 2023.

Replacing Grant Shapps, who has been appointed Secretary of State for Defence following the resignation of the previous Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace. Before this appointment, Coutinho was the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Families and Wellbeing, and an MP for the East Surrey constituency.

Our briefing analyses Coutinho’s views on energy policy, and the likely implications of her appointment for the sector. You can read the full briefing here The New Energy Secretary

If you would like to find out more about how Copper can help you navigate changes to energy policy, please contact Phoebe Sullivan.

 

Despite a now widespread understanding of the concept of climate change, and our global drive to Net Zero, it’s surprising just how low UK public awareness and understanding of renewable energy is.

There are also some interesting divisions in knowledge and support across certain demographics. Our report provides useful insights on helping segments of society to better understand renewables and engage.

To read our report, click here.

To find out more about our research into renewables, check out our recent reports into nuclear and solar.

A lot has moved on since our 2022 research was published. There are now well over ten solar projects being explored publicly as part of the NSIP regime in the UK. We’ve also seen significant announcements in the 2023 Spring Budget.

So how can we deliver quality solar projects at the scale needed and bring the community along for the journey?

Read the report, we’ve written in collaboration with Solar Energy UK here – 2023 – a transformative year for Solar: a study of public attitudes to solar development

Read our previous report here – 2022 – A bright future for solar: a study into public attitudes to solar energy

Challenge

HyNet North West is an innovative low carbon and hydrogen energy project that will unlock a low carbon economy for the North West and North Wales and put the region at the forefront of the UK’s drive to net zero.

As the project moves towards a more public-facing stage, we were tasked with evolving the HyNet North West brand and creating a series of assets to explain the project.

Website

We developed the UI designs and redeveloped the HyNet webite, simplifying the navigation and streamlining information. We created a series of graphics and assets that could be utilised across multiple channels, as well as on the website.

Consultation hub

Sitting alongside the website, we developed a consultation microsite to support the first consultation on the HyNet North West project. The look and feel reflected the overarching HyNet brand.

Social

We develop social graphics to support HyNet’s key messages, encourage engagement and explain complex concepts to stakeholders and the public.

Animation

HyNet North West is made up of several different projects, the first of which is a carbon capture pipeline. We designed and delivered an animation to help explain key elements of the project in an accessible way, enabling people to easily respond to the project’s public consultation.

Challenge

Providing clear, non-technical explanations of complex concepts is a crucial part of what we do. But just as important is ensuring that when we make the message more accessible, we do not compromise on technical accuracy. In this example, the client asked us to describe the challenge of rising energy demand for server cooling operations and to illustrate how a radical new solution could transform this requirement. A complex story that needed a light-touch visual style.

We sit between marketers, who need to make strong claims, and scientists and engineers, who tend to be cautious and rightly insist on technical integrity. There are also legal teams to keep happy.

All our writers have science or engineering degrees. This helps us to work with our creative colleagues to make a splash while respecting technical accuracy.

Creativity is important, but not at the expense of technical accuracy. As this example shows, we can offer you both.

Challenge

Moving from a ‘house of brands’ to ‘hybrid branding under a parent brand’

Acteon’s strategy was to move from a collection of individual brands operating under an umbrella name to a more formal hybrid-branding approach. The branded services, product lines and expertise were to be structured into eight strategic business segments that aligned with customer needs. These segments would combine the overall Acteon brand with the strongest existing brand in each segment. We helped define how these would be presented and described.

CS-Insight-v2

Insight

Times change and company activities change with them. Familiar product and service brands are re-named, retired, merged or moved to new homes. And the effects of these changes are felt most keenly at the client interface. Those who manage brands want to ensure that any new structure brings clarity and attracts new business, without alienating existing customers. This was exactly the challenge that we took on when we helped a major engineering group modify its service structure branding.