Scottish community renewables hit new heights

Community and locally-owned energy capacity in Scotland could generate enough electricity to power around 100,000 households. That’s according to Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing, who made the announcement at the […]

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Community and locally-owned energy capacity in Scotland could generate enough electricity to power around 100,000 households.

That’s according to Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing, who made the announcement at the Scottish Renewables’ Onshore Wind Conference today.

As of June 2014, 361MW of community and locally owned energy capacity is operational.

That’s a 27% increase from the last update and shows Scotland is on course to make the 500MW target by 2020.

This could be hindered however as a result of the governments announcement to close the Renewables Obligation for onshore wind from April 2016.

Mr Ewing said: “We are well on our way to achieving our target by 2020 which has the potential value to our communities and local businesses of up to £2.2 billion. Onshore wind is our most successful technology for community benefits and it has the potential to transform local areas through community ownership.

“Giving communities more control over their own energy will help us tackle challenges like grid constraints and fuel poverty – while at the same time sparking economic revival.”

He added the country’s Isle of Lewis has the largest community-owned wind farm in the UK,  generating 9MW of electricity and £1 million each year for the local community.

Mr Ewing went on: “However, potentially the future of projects like this could be under threat as a result of the recent announcements by the UK Government and it will be tragic if these opportunities are lost to future communities.”