Call to have say on future local energy systems
Views are being sought on plans to support the development of local energy systems that bring together energy production and use.
The Scottish Government's energy strategy includes local systems combining electricity, heat and transport among its priorities, which it says will benefit local consumers with tailored solutions.
Local energy systems are defined as ones which "find ways to link the supply and demand of energy services within an area across electricity, heat and transport, delivering real value to everyone in local areas, and supporting the growth of vibrant, net-zero local economies".
The Local Energy Policy Statement – on which the Scottish Government is consulting – differentiates between community energy, where renewable power is generated by community-led ownership or partnerships, and local energy, which involves a range of public and private sector organisations delivering an energy service for a defined geographical area.
The shift to local energy solutions has emerged as more renewable power schemes have come online, creating a decentralised power generation system, with increasingly diverse ownership and delivery models.
The public consultation on the document is now open and will run until December 4.
Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse visited Upper Nithsdale Trust to see how communities have collaborated to benefit from renewable energy projects.
He said: “A shift towards more localised energy solutions is a vital part of our journey to a net-zero future, while giving more influence to local communities, more choice to the consumer and also helping fund vital community investments at a local level to improve the quality of life of those living there.
“How we will generate, supply and use energy in the future will change substantially, which is why we are consulting on the key principles to make this transition to local energy a success.
“I would encourage all interested stakeholders across Scotland to respond to the consultation to help build an energy system that is shaped by and for the people of Scotland.”
Morag Watson, director of policy at Scottish Renewables, said: "We welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to local energy systems which link the supply and demand of electricity, heat and transport to support the growth of vibrant, net-zero local economies.
"Renewable energy must lie at the heart of our transition to a decentralised and decarbonised energy system and Scotland’s renewable energy sector is already delivering locally-relevant energy solutions across the country.
"Scotland’s renewable energy sector will continue to engage to support the achievement of Scotland’s net-zero target and sustain its position at the forefront of the global clean energy industry, and this consultation is a step in that process."
The consultation can be viewed at: https://consult.gov.scot/energy-and-climate-change-directorate/local-energy-policy-statement/