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Community energy allows people to invest in the future

By Calum MacLeod

Coigach in Wester Ross has invested in windpower.
Coigach in Wester Ross has invested in windpower.

For many communities across the Highlands and Islands, renewable energy provides an opportunity for investment and regeneration.

Investing in hydro schemes – such as last year’s community energy project winner at the Highlands and Islands Renewable Energy Awards, Argyll’s River Avich project, or in wind turbines, such as Coigach Community Development Company in Wester Ross – can provide a significant income stream which can be invested to create further opportunities, services and jobs.

As in other areas of the renewable energy sector, the Highlands and Islands area is recognised as a leader in community energy innovation, with its communities at the forefront of innovation in areas such as battery and hydrogen energy storage.

The category is again expected to showcase the trailblazing and ambitious community energy projects now under way across the region.

The best community energy project at the second Highlands and Islands Renewable Energy Awards is once again sponsored by environmental consultants Atmos.

Managing director Jean Curran said: “Atmos Consulting is pleased to be supporting the best community energy project. Atmos has a long history supporting the development of renewable energy projects across the Highlands and Islands.

“As we enter a new decade, the importance of renewable energy in a sustainable economy has never been so significant.

Atmos managing director Jean Curran.
Atmos managing director Jean Curran.

“Community energy projects not only support the delivery of Scotland’s net-zero emissions target but can also play a vital part in re-energising the local region, empowering communities and delivering inclusive growth. Community benefits from such projects make a real, and in some cases, transformational difference at a local level.”

The Highlands and Islands Renewable Energy Awards – which take place at the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness, on Thursday, April 30 – are organised by Highland News and Media and are supported by law firm Harper Macleod, which is also the organiser of the Scottish Highlands and Islands Renewable Energy Conference (SHREC).

SHREC takes place earlier in the day at the same venue.

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