Jane Ollis has been appointed Chair of Community Energy South with immediate effect – and at a critical time, as the community energy sector is becoming a catalyst for the UK’s net zero aims.
Jane brings 25 years of diverse business experience to the organisation – from interning at NASA, to sitting on and advising boards of global companies, charities and government bodies. She is an environmental scientist and biochemist by training, an alumni of Sydney’s prestigious social leadership programme and a business fellow of Oxford University and focuses on building and serving business that have a clear purpose and social impact.
Community Energy England, in their 2030 Vision for the Sector, said: “Given the right policy support at a UK level, by 2030 the number of Community Energy Organisations could rise from several hundred today to around four thousand. That could help bring about a £1.8bn boost to local economies across the UK, as well as creating around 8,700 jobs.”
Jane Ollis said: “I’m excited to be taking over as Chair at CES at such an exciting moment in its growth and evolution. The organisation has established itself as a leader in bringing communities and local authorities together with the joint aim of achieving net zero.
“Its triple award win at the Community Energy England Awards was a reflection of this, and in particular for the success of its Pathways Programme which has helped directly to build capacity and support the growth of the Community Energy Sector.”
Esmé Donghi has also been appointed to the board as Director. Up until most recently, Esmé served as Project Director at the company and has been leading on the development of the Community Energy Pathways programme.
Since 2020, Community Energy South’s Pathways programme has enrolled 7 Local Authorities, enabled 16 Community Energy Organisations, leveraged £771,000 in funds for community energy and has 28 renewable energy generation projects in the pipeline.