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).
But solar power posted the largest increase in capacity, according to the new figures. This has more than doubled due, in part, to cooncils and housing associations installing solar power cells in their homes.
Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse, MSP, commented: “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.
“These new figures provide a perfect start to 2017, which will be a very important year for energy in Scotland, starting with our new Scottish energy strategy.
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.”