Local dividends for green power
An ambitious plan to make sure communities across Scotland reap the rewards of renewables has been launched by the First Minister.
The Community Benefit Register gives information on the benefits to local areas of having renewable energy projects nearby. It helps communities make comparisons with similar developments in other parts of the country, to inform negotiations with developers.
The register also encourages rural businesses undertaking small wind projects on farms and estates to engage with their communities and consider community benefit.
The most recent project added to the register is the Clyde wind farm at Elvanfoot in South Lanarkshire, which was officially opened today by the First Minister.
Mr Salmond said:
“Scotland has astounding green energy potential and vast natural resources. We have a responsibility to make sure our nation seizes this opportunity to create tens of thousands of new jobs and secure billions of pounds of investment in our economy.
“Importantly, we have a responsibility to make sure we seize these opportunities for the benefit of all Scots.
“Many communities are already reaping the benefits of green energy and the new register provides a level playing field to ensure more share in the advantages of Scotland’s vast natural resources.
“The Community Benefit Register allows local communities to enter negotiations with developers – from those putting up single turbines on farms and estates to those building the largest schemes – on an even footing.
“The Clyde Wind Farm being officially opened in South Lanarkshire is a good example of how the renewables revolution is good news economically for business and communities.
“Almost £22 million will be ploughed into communities across South Lanarkshire, the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway over the next 25 years from the profits of their turbines.
“This register gives everyone in Scotland the information to be able to share in the opportunities new renewable energy development brings.”
The register includes details on community benefits agreed with renewable energy developers across Scotland, helping communities make a comparison with similar developments to inform negotiations with developers.
Currently, most large-scale commercial developers pay community benefits when they set up renewable energy projects and this has enabled communities to invest in a variety of projects, such as improving energy efficiency in local homes, children’s playgrounds or graduate bursaries.