Scottish communities get GBP 10m/year from renewables projects
Wind turbines in Scotland. Author: Gary Denham. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic
Scottish communities now receive more than GBP 10 million (USD 14.8m/EUR 13.6m) a year from onshore renewable energy projects ranging from large-scale wind farms to small-scale hydro schemes, the Scottish government said this week.
"2015 was a bumper year for community energy and 2016 can be just as exciting," said energy minister Fergus Ewing.
There are now 154 projects on the community renewables register and in 2015 over GBP 10 million was paid out to communities from renewables developments, according to the statement.
The Scottish government announced in October it has already met its 2020 target of 500 MW for community or local ownership of renewables with 508 MW of capacity in operation.
"Our national guidance and support is encouraging more and more developers to increase the value of the community benefits they offer and consider community ownership - I want to see even more communities reap the benefits of owning and hosting small scale renewables," Ewing also said.
The Scottish government published its first community energy policy statement in September. Its support for the sector includes the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme, which helps community groups with finance and mentoring to install renewable technologies or benefit from commercial projects.