Date lodged: 8 August 2018
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the review of community benefit from onshore renewable energy developments, and what its position is on the case for community benefit to apply to communities affected by pylons or other infrastructure required to connect onshore renewables to the national grid, as is the case for communities affected by developments such as wind farms.
Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 24 August 2018
In the Scottish Energy Strategy (published December 2017), the Scottish Government gave a commitment to review its Good Practice Principles for Community Benefits (and Shared Ownership) from Renewable Energy Developments. Work is underway supported by a Steering Group comprising of representatives from communities, industry and other relevant bodies. The third meeting of the Group is due to take place in late September. Over the summer, a series of stakeholder workshops took place, attended by 69 delegates, to gather evidence to help inform the review.
The Scottish Government views the voluntary payment of community benefits from renewables developments as an opportunity for local communities to share in the benefits of their energy resource, and not as a form of compensation for perceived impacts. The current Good practice Principles have established an industry benchmark for community benefit per MW installed capacity. Adoption of the benchmark of £5000 per MW installed capacity is good, but not universally adopting and we continue to encourage developers to do all they can to encourage communities gain socio-economic benefits form projects and environmental.