Community wind power more rewarding than commercial wind

Community owned wind farms have paid their communities 34 times more than commercial counterparts according to a June report produced by Aquatera Ltd on behalf of Point and Sandwick Development Trust.

The report compared nine community owned and four private wind farms in Scotland and found that returns from the community owned wind farms average £170,000 per installed MW per annum, far exceeding the community benefit payment industry standard of £5,000 per installed MW per annum.

This valuable study confirms what our sector has long-known; that the benefits from community energy vastly exceed those from privately-owned generation. The report reaffirms the importance of communities retaining control and ownership of renewable energy, to maximise the benefits to local people. I believe the same principles will apply to other areas that community groups are now engaging in, such as energy storage, EV car clubs and flexibility provision. This report shows renewable community energy is a vital part of our journey to an equal and fair Net Zero.

Janet Foggie, CEO, Community Energy Scotland

Community benefit payments have become well established in the realms of commercial wind farm development in the UK and have progressed over the last 30 years to a rate of £5,000 per installed MW per annum (a rate which has been adopted by the Scottish Government in their guidance on community benefits within the onshore renewable energy sector).

Unlike private wind farms, community-owned wind farms’ monetary contributions are based on the turbine’s financial performance instead of a set yearly stipend. For the purposes of the report Aquatera analysed the figures to get a £ per MW per annum basis.

One case study within the report showed that the 0.9 MW community-owned turbine on the Orkney island of Westray has returned to the community approximately £299,057 per MW per annum and is expected to contribute £6.8 million to the community over its 25-year lifespan.

We are very please to have been able to contribute to this groundbreaking research into the tremendous economic impact of community energy. We are just one of a number of community wind farms in the Western Isles which together represent over £30 million of capital investment and which is returning a net income of £2 million a year into good causes in the local economy.

Community energy punches way above its weight in financial and economic terms and if governments really want to ‘level-up’ and to spread the benefits of the green economy to all parts of the country, then they need to make community energy a central pillar of their climate policy and not just a ‘nice-to-have’.

Norman Mackenzie, Chairman of Point and Sandwick Trust, which owns the UK’s largest community wind farm

Private wind farm community benefit payments (separate from the normal operational benefits like the generation of local jobs) can be a valuable source of income for communities located near renewable developments. Some private developers also offer an opportunity for the local community to invest in the development and, in return, receive a share of the profits generated.

Results from this report, however, highlight the obvious increased long-term financial benefit that communities who own and operate their own wind farm have experienced.

All-Energy Exhibition & Conference 2021

A message from All Energy and Dcarbonise – 18 – 19 August 2021 – SEC Centre, Glasgow

All-Energy is at the core of the UK renewable and low carbon energy community. We bring together business, academia and government to share expertise and inspiration, forge partnerships, accelerate projects and generate business.

Now in its 20th year, All-Energy has become a catalyst for innovation, opportunity and shared progress towards a prosperous and sustainable net zero, enabling users throughout the supply chain to experience the full range of technologies and solutions available.

Connecting the renewables and low carbon energy community

The renewables and low-carbon energy industry loves attending our annual event in Glasgow. Co-located with Dcarbonise, we take pride of place in being the UK’s largest low carbon energy and full supply chain renewables event, offering a busy, buzzing environment full of opportunity.

On the show floor, you’ll find suppliers of renewable and low carbon energy solutions meeting and connecting with developers, investors and buyers from around the world. Everywhere you look you’ll see industry experts discussing the new technologies that will help us to tackle the biggest challenges of our time.

We’re an event that inspires, creates business connections and educates. Alongside our innovative exhibitors on the show floor, we also have 12 theatres with hundreds of hours of free educational programmes from world-class speakers. You can expect interactive features, networking events, workshops and other activities designed to meet your business needs.

Network and connect at our full supply chain event

All-Energy and Dcarbonise welcomes professionals from a variety of sectors like hydropower, offshore/onshore wind, bioenergy, marine renewable energy, low carbon heat, smart transport and industrial decarbonisation. Nowhere else will you find such intense interaction between developers, manufacturers, fundholders, policymakers and every group with a stake in our shared energy future.

Join us in 2021 at the SEC Glasgow

Scotland provides the perfect location for All-Energy and Dcarbonise, playing an important role in the drive to net zero with their ambitious targets. Their legally binding target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 is five years ahead of the date set for the UK as a whole, providing the perfect backdrop for our event as we discuss and debate how to meet this goal.

If you’re in the industry you won’t want to miss out, so join us from 18-19 August at the SEC, Glasgow. Take the opportunity to connect with your peers and contribute to our shared progress towards a prosperous and sustainable net zero.

Visit our website and register your interest: www.all-energy.co.uk

First State of the Sector survey for Scotland

We are pleased to announce that in 2021, for the first time, Community Energy Scotland will be working with Community Energy England, Community Energy Wales and Regen to produce the State of the Sector report. That means that this year the survey covers the entire British community energy sector.

We will be in contact with our Members soon to ask you to participate in this important document.

You can click on this link for last year’s report from Community Energy England and Community Energy Wales.

Janet Foggie

I am a former parish minister in the church of Scotland who has been working on eco-focussed community building at the University of Stirling. I have been trained in coaching and in mediation and I bring a love of public speaking and communication to my new role.

I am so proud and excited to have been appointed as the new CEO for Community Energy Scotland. We have a demanding and challenging remit to enable Scotland’s communities to have renewable energy as part of their futures and I am thrilled to be part of that journey over the coming years.

I am absolutely delighted to be taking up this new role with Community Energy Scotland and look forward very much to our work in the years ahead. CES is very much a future focussed organisation and makes a unique contribution in developing partnership relationships in renewable energy projects for communities the length and breadth of Scotland.

In the challenges we face as communities rebuilding from COVID, I believe the focus on our Climate Emergency has to be about affordable energy solutions for communities while creating much needed jobs, I am so pleased to have been afforded my part in bringing about this shared future.

Born in Greenock, I have a Phd in history from the University of Edinburgh and a BD from the University of St Andrew’s. I have worked in hospital chaplaincy, parish ministry and most recently in community building for the Church of Scotland at the University of Stirling. I live on a small smallholding in North Fife where I keep and breed chickens and ducks.

Janet.Foggie@communityenergyscotland.org.uk

CEO Vacancy

Permanent, Full Time (35 hours per week)

Applications required by 1700hrs on 11th December 2020

Community Energy Scotland (CES) is seeking to appoint a suitable candidate to the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO is central to CES’ continuing function as Scotland’s leading community energy development organisation. The role requires a high level of integrity, commitment, well-developed leadership skills, and excellent foresight and judgement. Key elements of the role include, ensuring a consistently strong governance framework, providing a clear sense of organisational purpose and direction, and maintaining a high level of staff and board confidence.
With a creative and developmental mind-set, the successful candidate will ensure that CES continues to overcome every challenge that it meets and makes the most of the opportunities to maintain and increase its impact.

You can download the Application Pack here and our Vacancy Application Form here.

Michael Butler

Following an eclectic education ranging from music and neuroscience to physics and engineering departments, I eventually moved to Orkney to manage the standardisation of marine energy noise measurement at EMEC, in collaboration with Loughborough University. Following this I spent a brief stint as a council woodwind music teacher before joining THAW Orkney for almost two years, working to improve the well-being of vulnerable households through personal welfare and energy efficiency support, as well as contributing frontline evidence to governmental working groups. 

At Community Energy Scotland I provide project support, especially in technical areas and IT, but just like my colleagues I am passionate about bridging the gap between big budget energy projects and meaningful social impact. As I am currently working part-time as a volunteer in a rural community hospital in Uganda, I hope I can continue to bring new perspectives to the Community Energy Scotland team. 

Outside of work I look after my two energetic daughters and when I’m in the UK I also love spending time with my loyal hound, a pointer called Lewis. Encouraging new artistic works is a passion of mine when time allows, through various music ensembles and global citizenship through various international alliances. Most importantly, however, I now know all the words of the songs from Frozen II! 

michael.butler@communityenergyscotland.org.uk

Phone no: 07762 135507

Andrew Maybury

I’m an engineer with a combined 16 years’ experience of stand-alone power systems in Africa and energy conservation & generation in Scotland. My family and I own one of the first houses in Scotland to achieve SuperHome status with 87% carbon reductions … and we’re still working on reducing this further. A registered Community Shares Practitioner, I have a broad knowledge of community share offers. I’ve helped set up three co-operative societies in the Borders and I’m also a member of over a dozen community energy societies. 

The job of humans is to reduce entropy; to bring order out of chaos. I do that by devising and implementing solutions to problems and by developing potential where it is evident. There is so much that can be done and so many obstacles to achieving a just and positive outcome … but we battle on! 

I am married with two grown up children who are both engineers, and I try to grow some food in our wee garden.  

Can we make our home truly carbon positive or at least bring it up to PassivHaus standard? 

Andrew.Maybury@communityenergyscotland.org.uk

Phone no: 07786 020528

Exciting Industry News

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The CES Website Goes Live

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