8. Shared Ownership
The Scottish Government wants to see a significant increase in shared ownership of energy projects in Scotland, putting energy into the hands of local communities and, through this, ensuring all stakeholders stand to benefit from greater partnership working in bringing forward renewable energy projects.
Shared ownership - by this term, we mean is any structure which involves a community group as a meaningful financial partner in a renewable energy project.
Build relationships, creates greater positive public feeling and support for the project.
Build community capacity and empower community members.
Opportunity to strengthen relationships between developers and communities.
Strengthen corporate social responsibility.
Support Scotland's ambitious targets for community and locally owned renewable energy.
We have signalled our ambition with a commitment to ensure that by 2020, at least half of newly consented renewable energy projects will have an element of shared ownership.
In order to facilitate the take-up of shared ownership, the Scottish Government has taken the following actions.
- In 2015, the Scottish Government published 'Good practice Principles for Shared Ownership of Onshore Renewable Energy Developments'. This is an annex to our 'Good Practice Principles for Onshore Renewable Energy Developments' . This publication has been well received and adds to the suite of support available under CARES.
- Shared ownership has been identified by the Scottish Government as a key priority for the next CARES contract which covers the period April 2017 to March 2020, and new and enhanced support will be available as part of that new contract.
- In November 2015, the Chief Planner issued a letter to Heads of Planning Scotland which stated that the local economic benefits earned from Shared Ownership can be considered as a Material Consideration in the planning system.
- Non-domestic Rates - for 2017/18 we will continue business rates relief for community schemes and those with an element of shared ownership, with a slight adjustment to criteria to ensure we capture pioneering schemes.
Although we hope to see the uptake of shared ownership across all our renewable technologies, onshore wind currently makes up the largest portion of community shared ownership.
The latest report by Energy Saving Trust entitled 'Community and locally owned renewable energy in Scotland at June 2016' shows that there were 40 projects with shared ownership. 28 of these 40 projects are operational and accounted for 43 MW of community and locally owned capacity between them. This is encouraging and shows that developers and communities do see the value in having a stake in a project. We want to build on this, with a view to making shared ownership the norm, not something that is seen as difficult or complicated. We want to work will all stakeholders to ensure that the support offered under CARES meets all your needs and would welcome views on this as part of the consultation.
Shared ownership will also be key in helping to meet our new targets of 1GW community and locally owned energy by 2020 and 2 GW by 2030. We expect onshore wind to continue to play a vital role in reaching our new targets.
Stewart Energy shared ownership project in South Lanarkshire. Jointly owned by local rural business Stewart Energy Ltd and Lesmahagow Development Trust ( LDT). 3.9 MW project with 25% owned by local development trust received funding from Renewable Energy Investment Fund. The LDT expected to receive an annual six-figure income over the next 20 years which will support a range of local projects
We recognise that some community groups may be more comfortable receiving traditional community benefit payments, however we do consider that the option of shared ownership should be offered to local communities as part of the early engagement process. The rationale for this is covered earlier on in this section.
As stated in our Good Practice Principles, not all developers, projects or communities are the same and as such the financial models for shared ownership may be just as diverse. The Scottish Government does not intend to prescribe any particular model, however we do encourage stakeholders to adopt the high level principles outlined in the document.
8.1 If you represent, or are a member of, a community, are you interested in shared ownership and what do you think are the barriers to achieving shared ownership under a renewable energy scheme?
8.2 What steps can the Scottish Government take to improve the prospect of further shared ownership development?
Email: Debbie Kessell