Publication - Consultation paper

Local energy policy statement: consultation

Published: 9 Oct 2019

Scotland's Energy Strategy, published in December 2017, included the development of 'innovative local energy systems' as one of six strategic priorities. To support that aim, a commitment was made to develop a Local Energy Position Paper, which would set out a series of key principles and associated outcomes for project delivery agents to consider during the development of future renewable energy projects.

Local energy policy statement: consultation
Key Principles

Key Principles

The Scottish Government, with assistance from an expert external steering group, have laid the foundations for an initial 10 key principles that local energy stakeholders should consider before developing and/or delivering any local energy system in Scotland.

This consultation process will give all stakeholders an opportunity to help shape these principles to ensure they are achievable and fit-for-purpose.

Theme 1: People

1. Consumers should be at the centre of local energy systems development, and early engagement is key in achieving that.

2. Not everyone will want to engage with local energy projects in the same way. Those developing projects should account for these differences, allowing people and communities to be involved in different ways.

Theme 2: Places

3. Local energy projects should reflect local characteristics. The distinctive local resources, ambitions and priorities of particular places should be at the heart of future energy considerations.

4. Collaborative approaches and partnership working on local energy plans will ensure all stakeholder groups are represented, and can participate, in the transition to local, low carbon energy systems.

Theme 3: Networks & Infrastructure

5. All local energy systems activity should provide a high level of security and quality of supply to all. New activity should also consider existing energy infrastructure first.

6. The design and operation of our energy networks should consider the whole energy system while supporting local, regional and national solutions.

Theme 4: Pathway to Commercialisation

7. Projects that demonstrate a commercially viable and replicable opportunity, in line with the principle of inclusive growth, should be prioritised.

8. Low regret opportunities that support a net zero emissions future should be identified and acted upon.

Theme 5: Opportunity

9. Local energy systems should support the creation of quality jobs, which are secure and sustainable, as well as the development of the Scottish supply chain.

10. Any changes to the energy system should ensure a just transition for Scotland's workforce - particularly for those who may be directly impacted by these changes through re-training or upskilling.

These principles have been included within our Local Energy Systems Framework diagram overleaf. This diagram gives a high level overview of this policy statement.

Local energy systems framework diagram

The intended audience for this policy statement is broad. There are a wide range of stakeholders involved in developing and delivering local energy systems. These include people and organisations, ranging from individual consumers to network operators, and from community organisations to large energy generators and suppliers, as highlighted in the diagram below:

Local energy stakeholders

Our intention is to review the principles after 3 years to ensure they remain relevant.


1. Are you clear on the purpose of the statement? Please explain your view.

2. What are your views on the 10 principles?

3. How can the Scottish Government encourage stakeholders to adopt the principles set out within this document?

4. Are you clear about the roles of all the different stakeholders who may be involved in the development of local energy systems?