Thousands of communities across the UK could play a vital role in tackling climate change while also benefiting from new jobs and lower energy bills, according to a report commissioned by SP Energy Networks, conducted by WPI Economics and supported by ScottishPower.
The Future of Community Energy, published on 13 February, has mapped out the scale of the benefits the sector could deliver if given the support needed to thrive.
The report finds community energy schemes, such as community owned solar panels and wind turbines, could power 2.2mn homes in the UK by 2030 whilst reducing household energy bills by up £150mn.
Contemporary datasets suggest that Scotland has 540 community owned renewable installations. There are an estimated 82 community energy organisations in Scotland and 80MW of electricity and heat generation capacity.
With an opportunity to develop a new national strategy to kickstart a community energy revolution, SP Energy Networks has called for the government to allow for faster uptake by creating new regional funding streams.