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More power from locally-owned renewables

Published: 29 Dec 2016 00:01
Part of:
Energy

Solar capacity doubles.

More communities across Scotland are experiencing the benefits of locally-owned renewable energy – with a 17% increase in power generated.

Scotland now has 595 MW of community and locally-owned renewable capacity – enough to power around 300,000 homes, according to a new report published today.

There are a total of 15,570 locally and community-owned renewables sites in Scotland at present, though more wish to pursue projects. Within those already in place, the two largest power sources continue to be onshore wind (273MW) and biomass (162MW).

Solar posted the largest increase in capacity, according to the new figures. This has more than doubled due, in part, to councils and housing associations installing Solar PV cells in their buildings.
 
Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said:

“This is great news.  We have exceeded our 2020 target of achieving 500 MW in community and local ownership and, in line with our 2016 election manifesto commitment, we now pledge to double this to 1GW in the same time frame.  Putting this in context, 1GW would be enough electricity to power half a million homes in Scotland.”

“Locally-owned renewables have the potential to help drive social, economic and environmental change in communities across Scotland. These projects frequently generate funds that can be spent at local people’s discretion on a wide range of projects that reflect local communities’ priorities, as well as playing an important role in our energy mix and helping us to meet our vital climate change obligations.

“Finally, these new figures provide a perfect introduction to 2017, which will be a very important year for energy in Scotland. We will publish a draft of our Energy Strategy early in the New Year. This will form our strategic response to the challenges and opportunities facing the energy sector. It will also set out our long term vision for energy in Scotland up to 2050 as well as informing and supporting the Climate Change Plan to meet our annual, statutory greenhouse gas emission targets between 2016 and 2032.

“With more than half of gross electricity consumption coming from renewable sources, The Scottish Government is making great strides and will continue to do so across 2017.”

Alister Steele, managing director of Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association, said:

“Investment in solar panels is an integral part of our strategy to improve the energy efficiency of our homes and tackle fuel poverty whilst contributing to national targets for carbon reduction.”

Background

Read the full report at:

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/sites/default/files/reports/Community%20and%20locally%20owned%20report%202016_final.pdf