Scottish rural renewable energy register reaches £10m milestone

Scotland’s communities are now benefitting by £10 million every year thanks to renewable energy projects, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Speaking at the Scottish Green Energy Awards on 3 December, Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish Government’s Community Benefit Register, which records the income communities receive from renewable energy projects has now risen to £10m.

These range from large-scale wind farms such as Whitelee, the UK’s largest onshore wind farm, to small farm and community projects. 

“Our national guidance has encouraged developers to increase the value of the community benefits they offer,” said Ms Sturgeon.

“Communities across Scotland are now receiving over £10 million a year from onshore renewable projects. That figure is set to rise.”

Twenty-one of the best green organisations, projects and people were celebrating after the Scottish Green Energy Awards, which were organized by Scottish Renewables.

Scottish Water’s efforts to cut its £45 million annual energy bill – Scotland’s largest – using renewable energy saw the utility company scoop the Renewing Scotland award. 

The UK’s largest community-owned wind farm, three-turbine Beinn Ghrideag on the Isle of Lewis, was named Best Community Project. 

“In the week world leaders meet in Paris to tackle climate change there is much to celebrate here in Scotland,” said Scottish Renewables Chief Executive, Niall Stuart. 

“From small-scale community developments to our cutting edge technologies and the individuals who champion our industry, the Scottish Green Energy Awards is all about recognising the people and organisations that are driving forward our industry.” 

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues