EXCLUSIVE by Scottish Energy News
Community Energy Scotland almost tripled the number of active projects – with a concomitant significant rise in associated income – over the past year.
Consequently, the 10 partnership projects underway or in development – with a value of around £550,000 – had grown by the year-end to a portfolio of 28 projects with a value of around £700,000.
The charity also made big moves into empowering urban communities, thanks to developments on the Tower Power project, set up to help the residents of an Edinburgh housing scheme.
In Mull and Orkney, CES is leading two major Scottish Government projects to provide smart electrical demand to keep community generators running when they might otherwise be switched off.
And CES’ own generation development in the Borders – the Hoprigshiels windfarm joint venture with Berwickshire Housing Association – made significant progress.
Gwen Barrell, Convenor of the CES Board, said: “Significant UK policy changes have made it harder for communities to commit to tackling their energy requirements in a sustainable way.
“But these conditions drive innovation in local energy systems and enable increased local supply arrangements, with communities often being pioneers.
“So more projects, more members, more community action – and lower costs – were the key results for Community Energy Scotland over the year 2015-2016.”
A parallel survey of CES members and partners showed how highly its support is valued by the people it work alongside: 92% of respondents rated its technical and policy knowledge as’ high’ or ‘very high’.