Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) and Energy North conferences to focus on collaboration

Energy North conference logo 2014Local Energy Scotland_logoThere will be emphasis on collaboration at both the upcoming Energy North and Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) conferences this month and next.

The main conference session for Energy North is titled ‘Looking at Skills, Infrastructure & Supply Chain’ which will examine how the energy industry can share knowledge and collaborate to create a legacy for the North of Scotland and Islands for generations to come.

The keynote speaker is MSP Mike Mackenzie (SNP, Highlands and Islands) while Ben Wilson, Professor of Energy, at Highlands University will give a presentation on  ‘Dolphins and steel: marine mammal ecology in industrialised seas’.

The CARES conference will feature a showcase of current projects with a keynote address from Fergus Ewing, Scottish Energy Minister. There will also be a sessions titled: ‘Community Renewables – Experts’ Insight’ which will focus on the opportunities and challenges for community energy; and ‘European Support for Community Energy’.

CARES – the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme – was set up by the Scottish Government to encourage local and community ownership of renewable energy across Scotland.

CARES is designed to accelerate progress towards the Scottish Government’s target of 500MW of renewable energy to be locally or community owned by 2020, and to maximise the benefits to communities from commercially owned energy. This is detailed in the Scottish Government’s 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland.

The CARES loan fund has been operative since 2011. It is a flagship scheme which aims to provide loans towards the high risk, pre-planning consent stages of renewable energy projects which have significant community engagement and benefit.

There will also be a session entitled ‘Partnership Working ‘Dragons Den’’ where commercial developers will pitch their collaborative project proposals to a panel of community groups.

The Energy North Conference  takes place next Tuesday (10 February) in Inverness, while the CARES Conference stake place on 17-18 March in Stirling.

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