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Report 18 March 2021

Community and locally owned energy in Scotland: 2020 report

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Please note that this page contains information and links most relevant for people living in Scotland.


Energy Saving Trust was asked in 2011 by the Scottish Government to produce a database of all community and locally owned renewable energy installations in Scotland and to produce a short report on the information it contained. The objective of this work was to monitor progress towards the target set by the Scottish Government of having 0.5GW of operational renewable energy capacity in community or local ownership by 2020.  This target was exceeded in 2015 and subsequently the Scottish Government doubled the target to 1GW of operational community and locally owned renewable energy capacity by 2020 and set a further target of 2GW by 2030.

This database has been updated annually since 2011 and this is the ninth iteration of its associated report. The database includes, as far as possible, all installations known to be operating, under construction, or in earlier stages of development as of December 2020. Since 2016, and as storage technologies have become more common, the report has also included findings on the capacity and type of community and locally owned energy storage systems. However, these capacities are not included in the progress towards the 1GW target as energy storage systems do not generate renewable energy.

For any questions or comments relating to the Community and Locally Owned renewable energy database, or accompanying analysis and report, please contact

Summary of key findings

The findings from this work are that at the end of December 2020:

  • An estimated 853MW of community and locally owned renewable energy capacity was operational in Scotland.
  • There has been a 16.7% increase in operational capacity compared to June 2019 when the operating capacity was estimated at 731MW.
  • The operating capacity resulted from approximately 25,830 individual renewable energy installations.
  • There has been a 25.6% increase in the number of installations compared to June 2019.
  • The Scottish Government has achieved progress of 85.3% towards their 2020 target of 1GW and 42.6% towards their 2030 target of 2GW.
  • This is the equivalent to 170.6% of the original target of 0.5GW by 2020. This target was set in 2011 and was exceeded by 2015. The Scottish Government subsequently doubled the target to 1GW by 2020 and also set a target of 2GW by 2030.

Last updated: 18 March 2021