Co-op welcomes report on renewable energy development
‘Community ownership needs to be at the heart of renewable energy development in Scotland’
Co-operation & Mutuality Scotland (1) today welcomed the publication of the Scottish Parliament Enterprise & Culture Committee’s report into Renewable Energy Development in Scotland (2). CMS was pleased to see that the report received the unanimous support from all the parties represented on the committee, noting that this was impressive given the wide remit of the inquiry.
Whilst agreeing with the overall thrust of the document, Martin Meteyard – Chair of CMS noted that one of the key issues in terms of the development of on-shore wind energy schemes remains the impact on the local community.
Mr Meteyard said ‘CMS aims to promote all forms of co-operative enterprise, and there are significant opportunities for communities to benefit from certain renewable energy developments currently underway in Scotland. I am particularly pleased to see that the issue of community ownership of renewable energy schemes is addressed in the section on ‘Economic Benefits for Scotland’ (3), thereby acknowledging the positive impact community ownership can have on the local economy.’
He added ‘In order to fully benefit from the development of renewable energy in Scotland, CMS wants to see more opportunities for communities to become involved by gaining a real stake in the development via the ‘community owned renewable energy co-operative’ concept. CMS is currently working in partnership with Energy4All (4) a not for profit company that exists to assist communities to gain a stake in wind farm developments in their local area.
During the course of the inquiry Angela Duignan of Energy4All gave evidence on the positive impacts of community ownership of renewable energy schemes (5). Commenting on the Committee’s report Angela Duignan said ‘It is encouraging that the committee has recognised that community ownership has a vital role to play in the development of Scotland’s renewable energy sector. Energy4All already has an agreement with one of the big developers in Scotland. We hope that the acknowledgement this report contains on the positive impact of community ownership on Scotland’s local economies will enable us to reach agreements with other wind farm developers. We also hope that this will lead to an increase in the percentage of Scottish communities with a direct stake in renewable energy like many of our European neighbours.’
Angela added ‘In certain areas of Scotland local communities are being inundated by proposals for new wind farm developments, so it is crucial that communities gain the maximum benefit from any development allocated planning permission to proceed.’
Contact: Claire Brady – Co-operation & Mutuality Scotland – 07786 234 669 – firstname.lastname@example.org