Community partners in Scotland will be able to bid to be part of a new £20 million local energy challenge fund, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond announced yesterday.
Mr. Salmond said the fund will help reshape how energy is delivered and used in communities across Scotland. Local partnerships including community groups, charities, local authorities, housing associations, universities and businesses can apply to set up low-carbon energy pilot projects in their areas, through the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) Local Energy Challenge Fund. The Scottish Government has set a target of 500 MW of community and locally owned renewable energy by 2020.
Speaking in Arbroath, Scotland’s First Minister said, “The new local energy challenge fund is a prime example of that. It is an opportunity to build on Scotland’s outstanding strength in renewable and low carbon energy and to reshape how energy is delivered and used in communities throughout the country.
“Scotland is already leading the way in the UK, helping communities to own and benefit from their own energy projects. By giving people a stake in heat and electricity generating technologies, we can address climate change through low carbon projects, and also tackle fuel poverty. We are already well on track to meeting our 2020 target with over 285 MW of community and locally-owned renewables in operation. This £20 million investment will take our commitment one step further and ensure more value from the generation is retained locally.
“Renewable energy is extremely valuable to Scotland’s economy, reducing our carbon emissions and in providing low carbon energy supplies, as well as jobs and long term investment. I am confident this fund will help facilitate some of the country’s most innovative and exciting energy projects, and it cements our position as a global leader in renewables and low carbon development.”