This consultation sought views on the Scottish Government’s Onshore Wind Policy Statement refresh. In particular views were sought on the Scottish Government’s ambition to secure an additional 8-12 GW of installed onshore wind capacity by 2030, how to tackle the barriers to deployment, and how to secure maximum economic benefit from these developments.
Our response focussed specifically on community benefit and shared ownership, emphasising the importance of recognising that the benefits of community owned wind turbines are not only in the renewable electricity generated to help meet net zero obligations, but also in the income generation, economic regeneration, community empowerment and a just transition to net zero.
Our response also noted that community-owned wind turbines have been commercially unattractive since the ending of the Feed in Tariff (FiT) and emphasised that there is therefore a need for an alternative financial mechanism to enable these projects to be realised in future.
Prior to FiTs, many of these projects were realised with capital grants from sources including Big Lottery Growing Community Assets, but this type of support was superseded by FiTs. Now that FiTs are no longer available – and very unlikely to be reintroduced – capital grants could support projects again, for example through CARES. Low interest rate loans could also help communities to realise projects.