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Value of community projects discussed at energy conference

Construction of the Udny community wind turbine in 2011
"Community-owned renewables have the potential to generate significant local economic benefits in areas where alternative sources of income and employment may be limited

The value of community-owned renewables to local economies was the focus of a presentation made by Professor Deb Roberts from the James Hutton Institute at Community Energy Scotland’s 2014 conference, which was opened by Fergus Ewing, Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism.

Professor Roberts’ talk was based on a report commissioned by Community Energy Scotland entitled ‘Measuring the Local Economic Impact of Community-Owned Energy Projects’. The project focused on renewable energy projects owned by community groups within a specific locality and considered the extent to which local economic benefits could be enhanced through local finance schemes or when energy is owned, managed and used locally.

Professor Roberts commented: “Community-owned renewables have the potential to generate significant local economic benefits in areas where alternative sources of income and employment may be limited. The report shows clearly the magnitude of the benefits that can be achieved but also highlights that, through the use of local finance and by using energy locally, the benefits can be enhanced still further. It is thus consistent with the aim of moving towards more localised energy systems across Scotland.”

The report was compiled from evidence gathered by the James Hutton Institute working in partnership with Gilmorton Rural Development, looking in depth at the expenditures associated with the pre-development, construction and operation of community-owned energy projects. The study was supported by the EU’s Northern Periphery Programme as part of Community Energy Scotland’s contribution to the Social Enterprise in Community Renewable Energy initiative.

Speaking before the event, Carola Bell, Chair of Community Energy Scotland, said: “Focussing on retaining and adding local value through community ownership of our own energy, the conference will bring together all the strands of the community energy and local energy economy agenda, from finance to regulation, and from planning to technologies.”

The report ‘Measuring the Local Economic Impact of Community-Owned Energy Projects’ is available from the Community Energy Scotland website.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/value-community-projects-discussed-energy-conference on 17/09/19 11:25:18 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.