Decentralised energy systems offer the opportunity for different and exciting ownership models. The Scottish Government ambition is to see community energy mainstreamed within a whole systems approach as outlined in these pages.
The Scottish Government has identified opportunities for community ownership and control across energy supply, transmission and storage and demand management. Communities can have a stake in the full range of heat and electricity generating technologies, from onshore wind, to solar PV and solar thermal, hydro, biomass and heat pumps and also in distributing energy and storing energy technologies and energy efficiency projects.
Scottish Government ambition is to see 500 MW of renewables in community and local ownership by 2020. This target is unique in the UK, recognising the huge economic return to Scottish communities which come together to make use of the natural resource around them. The total value of the target for 500 MW of community and locally-owned energy by 2020 has been independently estimated at up to £2.2 billion over the operational lifetime of those projects . For individual communities, these projects offer the potential for economic renewal and regeneration, led and shaped by local people.
While the obstacle for community groups might seem formidable there is a wide range of support available and a number of organisations are able to help.
Sonas, 5 Military Drive Portpatrick+44 1776 810 firstname.lastname@example.org
Scottish Government Policy on Community Energy is here.
Local Energy Scotland have prepared a useful summary of the policy here.
Local Energy Scotland helps communities and rural businesses via a wide range of support, including:
- Free advice and support to help communities and rural businesses develop renewable energy schemes,
- Advice on funding streams,
- Support to access CARES (development and pre-planning loans),
- Support to access the REIF the renewable energy investment fund. (post-consent loans).
Community Energy Scotland is a registered charity that provides practical help for communities on green energy development and energy conservation.
Resource Efficient Scotland, is the Scottish Government programme delivered by Zero Waste Scotland and has been designed to help the public, private and third sectors (charity and community groups) reduce costs by implementing resource efficiency in energy, water, raw materials and waste management.
Resource efficient Scotland will help with energy efficiency programmes and local generation. Through the heat network partnership RES are helping to accelerate the development of low carbon heat networks. One element of this is publishing the heat map of Scotland
Scottish Enterprise also support renewable energy. In particular funding through REIF the renewable energy investment fund.
There is an article on Community Access to REIF here: Power to the Community.