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Good Practice Principles for Community Benefits from Onshore Renewable Energy Developments consultation responses

Good Practice Principles for Community Benefits from Onshore Renewable Energy Developments consultation responses

Thursday, January 29, 2015

ISBN: 9781784120764-responses

Consultation responses to Good Practice Principles for Community Benefits from onshore renewables. Community benefits offer a unique and unprecedented opportunity to communities across Scotland. Scottish Government recognises that many developers have individual company policies and approaches which work well to deliver community benefits, and this guidance is intended to share and build upon the progress in the field to date for forthcoming operational projects.

Executive Summary

This is the responses to the above mentioned consultation.

Renewable energy in Scotland presents an unprecedented opportunity for communities to

share in the benefits of their local energy resources. The Scottish Government has no

powers to oblige developers to pay community benefits but has been very encouraged by

the willingness of onshore renewables developers to offer voluntary community benefits

packages and to register these on the Scottish Government's Register of Community

Benefits.

2013 saw the launch of the Onshore Wind Community Benefit Protocol published by

Scottish Renewables, which details a consistent approach to community benefits across

Scotland. Community benefits present an opportunity for social, economic and

environmental improvements to communities and individuals across Scotland. The protocol,

which is the first of its kind for Scotland, outlines a number of key commitments from Scotland's onshore wind sector, including a commitment to explore the potential for greater

community ownership from onshore wind farms and a pledge to sign up to the online

Register of Community Benefits from Renewables. This protocol is an important step in the

right direction as we move towards a position where as many wind farms as possible, still to

be commissioned, including small scale developments, are able to sign up to these industry

commitments.

We know that the processes and administration of community benefits are evolving, and will

be shaped by the local context, but we do think there is scope to encourage models that

allow communities to invest strategically in order to maximise local gains.

This document details good practice principles and procedures promoted by Scottish

Government. It is intended as a practical guide to the process but also, through examples

of what is already being achieved, as a showcase to inspire success.

This Guidance has drawn mainly on experience from the onshore wind sector but the

Scottish Government would like to see community benefits promoted across all renewables

technologies and hence most of the principles and procedures herein will be applicable to

other onshore renewable energy technologies. In 2014, Scottish Government Guidance will

be developed to cover community benefits from offshore renewables.

While intended for developers of renewable energy projects in Scotland, it is also expected

to be a valuable tool for other stakeholders, such as community groups and local

authorities, to understand the expected process.

Finally we are grateful for the work of the informal stakeholder group, as listed in Annex

11.4, convened under our Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES), in helping

to develop this Guidance. We think this effort has produced a very helpful national

reference to guide what is a voluntary local process, and we are committed to working

together to ensure that the Guidance is reviewed and updated to stay relevant.