Community benefits from onshore renewable energy developments

Guidance on good practice principles for communities, businesses, local authorities and others.

Ongoing roles for the renewable energy business and community

This section covers:

  • Point of contact
  • Reporting
  • Review

Point of Contact

It is in everyone’s interest to ensure community benefits packaging are well run over the long term and deliver the maximum positive local impact.

The Scottish Government would encourage the renewable energy business to remain involved in some way once the community benefits package is signed off and becomes operational as it can help to maintain good working relationships.


As a minimum and where a fund is devolved, the renewable energy business should request an annual report detailing the projects funded in the previous financial year (depending on when the fund began), and any projects planned for the forthcoming year. To aid transparency, it may be helpful for this annual report to be publicly accessible for example on a website.

An annual report will boost confidence in the wider community to show what has been achieved with the funds and will help prospective communities to understand the potential community benefits from renewable energy developments.

Scottish Government Register of Community Benefits from Renewables

In line with good practice, all renewable energy businesses with operational projects are requested to submit details to the Scottish Register of Community Benefits from Renewables, and to encourage community groups to submit recipient details.

The Scottish Government also expects a community to submit details to the Register, and this should be encouraged by the renewable energy business as part of their reporting requirements. The register is an opportunity to share and showcase the positive transformation from community benefits across Scotland. The Register can be found at:


The Scottish Government would encourage a review of community benefits packages to be undertaken on a regular basis, to ensure that priorities remain relevant. Communities might wish to consider doing this every 3-5 years. The renewable energy business does not necessarily need to be involved in this process, but may wish to be and could ask for a report on the outcomes of the review and any intended changes the community wishes to make to the scheme.

We recommend that a point of contact, reporting arrangements and review process form part of the legal agreement.

Sharing Experiences

It is recognised that a great deal of good practice exists to date in Scotland and it is hoped that this guidance will continue to drive Scotland’s place as a leader in the UK in renewable energy policy and implementation. Context is key when agreeing community benefits packages and related arrangements. There is no single approach deemed to be “good practice” and Scottish Government hopes that this guidance inspires innovative arrangements and discussions. This document will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.



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