SUPPORTING INDEPENDENT RENEWABLE ENERGY
By Stephanie Clark, Policy Officer, Scottish Renewables
Making the decision to install a renewable energy scheme independently can be daunting. The planning process and potential time, cost and complexity of a project might seem overwhelming.
Yet the rewards can be significant – in terms of cutting your energy costs, creating a new income stream by selling excess power and by reducing your carbon footprint.
...the rewards can be significant – in terms of cutting your energy costs, creating a new income stream by selling excess power and by reducing your carbon footprint.
On-site renewables covers a range of different developers – landowners and farmers, home-owners and communities, businesses and public bodies – and a variety of technologies. Onshore wind is the dominant player, but biomass, biofuel, hydro, solar PV and solar thermal can also be attractive options.
The sector is growing fast across Great Britain; the Energy Entrepreneur 2013 report, by SmartestEnergy, showed the number of commercial-scale independent generation projects increased by 24 per cent during 2012 to stand at 2,011 separate projects, generating £768 million worth of electricity per year. In Scotland, the value is around £192m, almost 25 per cent of the total, while the Scottish Highlands & Islands is the most active region for community schemes.
The biggest growth across Britain was in larger farm-based schemes, with a 74 per cent increase to 347 projects as farmers look for new income streams.
There are many different people wanting to explore on-site renewables – and we need to make it easier for them. That’s why the conference has practical examples covering a range of technologies – including Neil Butler of Perthshire ice cream maker Stewart Tower Dairy, who will go through the whole process of installing wind turbines, from initial concept to installation.
The emphasis is very much on ‘How do I do it?’. The planning process can be a big barrier to wind power applications in particular and the conference aims to explain and de-mystify the process, while also stressing that renewable energy applications can (and do) take time, and that patience will be necessary.
The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) will lead a session on hydro power, again explaining the practical considerations of whether a river is suitable for a scheme – and detailing the preparatory work needed before moving forward.
There are many different people wanting to explore on-site renewables – and we need to make it easier for them.
Policy concepts in renewable energy can be challenging for the newcomer, but it is important to have a degree of understanding. Clear information is very important, and straightforward advice will be given in areas like Power Purchase Agreements and Feed-in Tariffs. Energy Saving Trust Scotland has some excellent, clear information on its website: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland
Face-to-face advice is also hugely important – for landowners and farmers, businesses, public bodies and home-owners and community groups who want to raise funds to improve local amenities. Again, practical advice will be given on finding the right people to talk to.
Small-scale energy entrepreneurs are already making a real difference - the independent sector now accounts for 12 per cent of overall renewable generation. We look forward to welcoming those looking to join their ranks to the event – and helping them to move forward.
* Scottish Renewables’ On-Site Renewables Exhibition & Workshops at Perth Concert Hall on 21 November, sponsored by Smartest Energy: http://www.smartestenergy.com: http://www.scottishrenewables.com/events/sr-site-renewables-exhibition-workshops-2013/
Stephanie Clark is a Policy Officer with Scottish Renewables
By Stephanie Clark, Policy Officer, Scottish Renewables
OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE
- Editorial: Policy Making and Data. Count me in! ..But can you really count?
- We have a right to know
- Interview: Danny Alexander MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury
- Transport investment: a key part of economic recovery
- Planning for your/our pension futures?
- Launch of Commission for Strengthening Local Democracy
- People Power: Why Employers Should Invest for Success
- Are we really crossing the digital divide?
- Making it local and integrated in Argyll & Bute
- Social Productivity - what it means for Scotland's environment
- Supporting Independent Renewable Energy
Issue 7: Nov 2013
HEALTH, WELL BEING AND AGEING: SCOTLAND 2020
Scotland's move to integrated care can learn from elsewhere by focussing on two key differentiators between successful partnerships and those paying lip service to integrated working: Shared outcomes and common language is one, the other is demonstrating mutual investments and mutual benefits.
- Scotland: Caring for the carers
- We should have fewer Councils - but they should run health
- Sustainable Communities - a Long Term view of Health and Social Care
- Can green space beat anxiety in urban Scotland?
- Stubbing it out: how can this be measured?
- A big Scottish question - "how do we become a healthier people?"
- Who's caring for ...our grandparents ...children ...us?
- Growing Old and Falling Apart - It doesn't have to be that way....
- NHS Scotland: the public and the patients
- A postcard from Older Scotland in 2020
- Equality: the last hurdle. Or is it ?
- Redressing Health Delivery in Scotland
Looking for a previous issue? Use the menu below to select an issue.
MOST READ ARTICLES
- Bringing alive the Digital Participation Charter for Scotland's citizens, communities and businesses
- Transport for Edinburgh - Integrated Transport for a Smart City
- Worth more than the First Minister? Senior Salaries in Scottish Quangos
- A Planet of Smart Cities: Scotland's digital challenge
- Dundee: From Waterfront redevelopment to city economy regeneration
- Social Business Can Transform Public Services
- Success secrets shared: Learning from the best Mittelstand and British global niche champions
- Public Services Reform and Public Opinion
- Increasing digital participation levels in Scotland - what needs to happen next?
- The Evolving Public Sector Response to Budget Challenges