The Scottish Government has awarded over £10m to support innovative large-scale low carbon local energy projects, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing announced today.
Speaking at the annual Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) Conference in Stirling, Mr Ewing confirmed that nine projects will receive funding through the Local Energy Challenge Fund.
The successful projects include the use of surplus energy in Orkney to reduce fuel household costs, allowing Edinburgh tower block residents to collectively purchase energy and reduce fuel bills and support for a hydro power scheme in Galashiels.
Mr Ewing said: “By creating a system that focuses on local energy we can help tackle some of our most pressing issues including fuel poverty, increasing costs and security of supply. That is why today, I am delighted to announce the awarding of over £10 million to nine projects stretching from Orkney to Galashiels.
“The successful projects include support for a pilot smart energy control system in Orkney and two heat pump projects in Perth and Glasgow to developing a new fuel source from the agricultural sector in Montrose.
“The Scottish Government has put in place a wide range of support to empower communities to take control of their local energy use and supply. The success of this support is demonstrated by the fact that we have achieved our community and locally-owned target of 500MW by 2020, five years early.
“Putting communities at the heart of decisions about their local energy system and empowering them to take an economic stake in new developments is central to our distinctive approach to Scotland’s energy future.”
Launched in August 2014, the Fund aims to demonstrate the value and benefit of local low carbon energy economies that link energy generation to energy use.
The SNP have also prioritised the “economic stake” of communities in their own energy issues, adding that this stance outlines the SNP’s “distinctive approach” to Scotland’s energy matters.