Community renewables in Scotland on the rise

Community and locally owned energy capacity in Scotland could generate enough electricity to power approximately 100.000 domestic households, according to Energy Minister Fergus Ewing.

As at June 2014, 361 MW of community and local energy capacity is operational which represents an increase of 27 percent from the last update and shows Scotland is on course to make the 500 MW target by 2020, Scottish Government’s press release reads.

The operating capacity results from a total of more than 10.110 individual renewable energy installations, according to the report by the Energy Saving Trust conducted for the Scottish Government.

A further 634 MW of community or locally owned renewable energy capacity is estimated to be in different stages of development. Of this, 115 MW is under construction, 312 MW has been granted planning permission but construction has not yet started, 102 MW is waiting for a planning decision to be made and 104 MW is in the scoping stage, according to the report.

The largest proportion of operational community and locally owned capacity is on Scottish farms and estates, and amounts to 146 MW, or 41%. Community groups own 13% of total operational capacity which represents 46 MW of operational capacity, followed by local authorities with 57 MW or 16 percent.

Local businesses own 41 MW or 11 percent, housing associations 36 MW or 10 percent, and public sector and charity own 34 MW or 9 percent.

The operational installation capacity of tidal technology amounts to approximately 1 MW as of June 2014, the report states.

Image: EMEC/Illustration