Agri-renewables strategy for Scotland

This strategy shows how agri-renewables can contribute to the aim of building a cleaner, greener Scotland.

Annex A

Summary of Actions

1. Community Involvement and Benefits
1.1 Make significant progress towards our 500 MW target through continuing with CARES support to help land managers and rural enterprises progress projects.
1.2 The Scottish Government will promote the development of renewable energy projects on Scottish Ministers' Crofting Estate which maximise opportunities for community ownership and benefits.
1.3 Agricultural businesses to continue to lead the way on engagement and identifying benefits with their local community through early collaboration to offer community benefits, including identifying local opportunities to fund energy efficiency schemes and measures to mitigate fuel poverty.
1.4 Our Community Benefits Register is gaining momentum, with nearly 100 individual projects now featured. Agricultural businesses to build on this momentum by providing community benefits and registering these on the Community Benefits Register.
1.5 Through CARES, we will promote the Good Practice Principles for Community Benefits from Onshore Renewable Energy Developments to a wide range of stakeholders and interested groups, targeting onshore technologies that currently have a lesser association with community benefits such as biomass, hydro and solar PV. We will also encourage community benefits from all scales of development, notably single wind turbine developments in rural areas.
1.6 Scotland's Rural College and other delivery partners to promote best practice in community involvement and benefits, as well as CARES, through their farming advisory activity.
1.7 CARES conference to take place in March 2014.
1.8 Renewables developers are beginning to respond to the call to link local energy generation directly to local energy costs. The Scottish Government will continue to encourage local energy developers to consider schemes that offer discounts to local electricity consumers.
2. Skills and Advice
2.1 National Farmers Union Scotland and Smiths Gore to deliver a new Renewables Development Initiative that was launched in Autumn 2013. This programme, funded by SRDP, aims to provide a platform for skills development based on farmers' experiences with renewables developments.
2.2 CARES consortium to further develop the practical help and expert guidance available through CARES and update the guidance to land managers to reduce the barriers to community or local rural business entrepreneurs who want to develop renewable energy generation projects.
2.3 Zero Waste Scotland to provide support for those working within agriculture on waste management, anaerobic digestion and composting. The Zero Waste Plan for Scotland highlights the role of anaerobic digestion and where appropriate, energy from waste.
2.4 Scotland's Rural College to further expand the web resource on farm scale renewables and develop technology tool kits to help farmers through the process of planning and implementing a renewables installation.
3. Planning and Consents
3.1 The Scottish Government will reflect carefully on the responses to the consultation on NPF and SPP in finalising the policy documents. Both documents are due to be published in June 2014.
3.2 The Scottish Government will promote partnership working with developers, consultees and communities on pre-application engagement to promote the value of thorough scoping. This is aimed at generating better applications which progress more smoothly through the planning system and have community support.
3.3 Developers continue to have a responsibility to make use of the available guidance and improve the quality of information provided in planning applications. The Scottish Government promotes the use of pre-application discussions between planning authorities, applicants and other consultees. These should ensure that applications coming forward have the necessary supporting information required to allow authorities to progress applications, this in turn should reduce delays due to requests for additional information.
3.4 The Scottish Government continues to work with both civil and military aviation stakeholders and industry to promote solutions to mitigate the impact of wind turbines on aviation radar in Scotland.
3.5 The Scottish Government's Eskdalemuir Working Group, is making significant progress re-examining the scientific model which underpins the constraints around the Ministry of Defence seismic array, with a view to allowing further development in the area.
3.6 In response to Public Petition 1469 on the neighbour notification of wind turbine applications, we have advised the Public Petitions Committee of the Scottish Parliament that we will produce good practice guidance in relation to public engagement on proposals for wind turbines. There will be a public consultation in due course on a draft of this guidance before it is finalised.
4. Grid Connection
4.1 The Scottish Government, along with the Scottish energy sector, will continue to press for a fair solution to transmission charge discrimination which is inhibiting electricity generation, particularly in our Island communities which have some of the best renewable energy resources in Europe.
4.2 We have set up a Community Energy Grid Networks Working Group in partnership with the Scottish DNOs and Community Energy Scotland. This will identify and fund pilot projects that will get maximum use and value from the existing network around communities interested in generating their own renewable energy, potentially saving money on expensive upgrades.
4.3 The Scottish Government will investigate access for agricultural businesses who offer community benefits to the CARES Infrastructure and Innovation Grant Fund, subject to European Commission State Aid rules. This is a limited grant fund available to investigate and develop projects that link local energy generation with local energy use, or projects that wish to develop innovative distribution network connections.
5. Finance and Technology Costs
5.1 The Scottish Government will continue to work constructively with UK Government to ensure a strong and effective framework to support our renewable energy priorities and provide a clearer framework within which businesses can operate.
5.2 Our delivery partners will continue to lead the way in maximising uptake of FiT and RHI through our farming advisory activity.
5.3 The Scottish Government is continuing to work with financial institutions to identify sustainable funding arrangements for agri-renewable developments.
This includes the provision of loans for the post planning and implementation stages of projects.
5.4 Under CARES, the Scottish Government will consult the Tenant Farming Forum ( TFF) in the development of good practice guidance for tenant farmer/owner partnership for renewable energy schemes.
5.5 The Scottish Government, along with stakeholders, will consider how the new SRDP from 2015 can support the uptake of agri-renewables.
5.6 Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society ( SAOS) will work with the sector to develop models for collaborative working and joint ventures and encourage rural businesses to pursue cooperative approaches to renewables projects.
6. Research and Innovation
6.1 A programme of communications is being developed by the Scottish Government's Main Research Providers in order to disseminate on-farm energy research findings to inform advisory services and support policy needs.
6.2 The Scottish Government recognises the increasingly important role energy storage could play in Scotland, enabling us to harness our renewables resources effectively and efficiently for a wide range of uses. We are working with key partners to better understand the specific opportunities for Scotland.
6.3 Scottish Enterprise is currently undertaking a feasibility study to assess the potential for using renewable energy, particularly wind and solar power to produce hydrogen and subsequently ammonia, at an appropriate scale in rural Scotland. The study will be completed in Spring 2014.
6.4 The DC-Agri project is a four year research project looking at the use of quality anaerobic digestate and compost in agriculture, integrated with an extensive knowledge exchange network. The project is funded jointly by Zero Waste Scotland, Defra, WRAP and WRAP Cymru.
6.5 The Scottish Government has commissioned ClimateXChange to carry out a number of research projects to inform energy policy development. Topics include, the social factors for success of community energy in Scotland, a study of the impact of wind farms and a literature review of recent papers on energy storage.
6.6 The Scottish Government recently established the Scottish Biofuels Taskforce, which reports to the Scottish Energy Advisory Board. Its remit is to assess the potential for the development of a biofuels industry in Scotland. It is chaired by Scottish Enterprise, and includes representatives from Transport Scotland, the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise ( HIE) and industry.


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