How will the SNP support communities in Scotland to own and manage renewables projects?
In 2011 we set a target for 500 MW of electricity capacity to be in local and community ownership by 2020 – we have now surpassed that target. In fact, the number of projects has increased by 62 per cent since 2011 – with over 450 local communities now benefiting from green power initiatives.
The Local Energy Challenge Fund has invested millions in projects that take local energy economy approach since it was launched in 2014. And the Renewable Energy Investment Fund – which has invested £60 million over the last five years – has benefited community renewables too.
We will now go further and aim for 1 GW of community and locally owned energy by 2020. One way we will achieve this is by supporting shared ownership of renewable energy projects. Our ambition is that, by 2020, at least half of newly consented renewable energy projects will have an element of shared ownership.
We are also supporting community renewables projects by providing business rates relief and have introduced a new 60 per cent business rates relief for hydro energy generation properties.