Citizen Power

Community Investment and Shared Ownership

Renewables offer exciting opportunities for ‘citizen power’, and numerous community-led small-scale projects have already been set up across the UK over recent years, where ordinary people are invited to directly invest in and share in the profits from wind turbines or other renewable energy sources. The non-exhaustive list below provides a glimpse of the dynamic situation.

Scotland is leading the way with several shared-ownership larger windfarms at different stages in the development process. Here, the developers of large-scale projects are giving local communities the opportunity to invest in them directly, allowing more of the economic benefits of wind farms to be captured locally. This has been underpinned by support from the Scottish Government which has published guidance on good practice principles for shared benefits from onshore renewable energy developments  which states: “Our ambition remains to ensure that, by 2020, at least half of newly consented renewable energy projects will have an element of shared ownership. Shared ownership will form a key part in helping to meet our targets of 1 GW of community and locally owned energy by 2020, and 2 GW by 2030. We expect community involvement in onshore wind development to continue to play a vital role in reaching these targets”.

Support is available to communities through the Scottish Government’s CARES programme, delivered by Local Energy Scotland, who will guide both the renewable energy business and community through the shared ownership process from beginning to end, including (if necessary) acting as an independent facilitator to help progress.

Opportunities like these can enable communities to greatly increase the financial and economic benefits that accrue to them from hosting wind farms.

Examples of Community Investment and Shared Ownership Renewable Energy Schemes

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