Annual energy statement: 2020

This year’s energy statement highlights the key developments in the sector that have influenced the Scottish Government's ability to deliver the targets set out in the current Energy Strategy, published in December 2017.

7. Local Energy

Scotland has made progress on local energy

Community and Locally Owned Renewables

Local energy systems

Community and locally owned renewables

Scotland has 0.73 GW of installed capacity of community and locally owned renewables in 2018.

Projects totalling almost 0.8 GW are in development.

Heat networks

Approximately 30,000 Scottish homes were connected to district or communal heat networks in 2018.

They supplied an estimated 1.18 TWh of heat and cooling demand.

The energy journey to net zero is a fast moving one, both in terms of technology development and its supporting infrastructure. As such, it is difficult to predict exactly how it will develop.

What is clear, however, is that the way we generate, supply and use our energy will continue to fundamentlly change in the coming years. This means there will be a greater role for considering local energy solutions to meet local energy needs.

It is important therefore that those participating or developing projects, support a just, inclusive energy transition – one that has people at its centre, supported by strong partnership working and collaboration at a local level.

Over the course of the next year, we will:

  • Publish the Local Energy Policy Statement, underpinned by ten key principles we wish to see adopted by those participating and developing local energy projects in Scotland and accompanying Delivery Framework;
  • Continue our legacy of supporting community-led local renewable energy generation projects, and wider low carbon activity through our flagship Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) which is currently out to tender with a new contract period to start from April 2021;
  • Continue to support the acceleration of the shift to low carbon, local energy solutions through various funding programmes through £120 million Heat Transition Deal, including:
    • £50m Low Carbon Heat and Energy Systems Funding Call delivered by the highly regarded Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP), to accelerate the delivery of large scale low carbon heat infrastructure projects, including heat pumps and heat networks;
    • £20m Funding Call to support installation of low carbon heat solutions in Social Housing, also delivered by LCITP;
    • £2m Remote Grid Upgrade funding call via CARES, which will provide capital investment for remote and off-grid energy systems in Scotland requiring capital investment to maintain security of supply for isolated communities in Scotland; and
    • £15m Energy Innovation Pilot Programme to explore models of investment and invite a range of proposals for those energy innovations needed to underpin the delivery of our Climate Change Plan.
  • Work with COSLA and local government to agree the scope of Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategies, develop a draft method for their development, and identify the resources needed to deliver them; and
  • Publish a Bioenergy Update early in the new year, followed by the development of a Bioenergy Action Plan, to be published ahead of the next Climate Change Plan update in 2024.



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