More communities are producing their own renewable energy, with a 17% increase in nine months, according to a new report. Scotland had 595MW of community and locally-owned renewable capacity in June this year – enough to power about 300,000 homes, the research found. This was a 17% increase on the operational capacity in the last report in September 2015, when the operating capacity was estimated at 508MW. As in previous years, the largest proportion of operational community and locally-owned capacity was on Scottish farms and estates, which produced 41% (244MW), followed by local authorities, which made 18% (108MW). The Energy Saving Trust report, published on December 29, found there are 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). Business, innovation and energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “We have exceeded our 2020 target of achieving 500MW 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 timeframe. “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.
Independent 29th Dec 2016 read more »