Local energy - a modern approach to sourcing and generating renewable energy

What is local energy?

Unlike traditional energy generation (by burning coal or gas, for example), renewable energy is energy generated from natural sources such as sunlight, wind or waves, that are continually replenished.

Local energy is the delivery of renewable energy projects involving a range of public, private and community organisations for the benefit of local consumers operating within a defined area.

What are the benefits of local energy?

Local energy benefits local economies by re-generating communities, delivering financial benefits to the community and its stakeholders, and creating jobs. Local energy generation can also help alleviate fuel poverty and empower communities by delivering benefits to the community.

How we can help

We're Scotland's one-stop-shop for all your local energy needs. Our advice is free and impartial, and we will support you at every stage - from initial planning, through development and funding applications, right up to and beyond the launch.

We administer the Scottish Government's Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES), which offers grants and loans to support local energy development across Scotland.

This support covers local ownership and/ or community involvement for shared ownership projects and local energy systems. CARES also supports projects contributing to Scotland’s 1GW of locally owned energy by 2020 ambition and aims to maximise the impact from community benefit funds.

We can also direct you to other useful funding sources and support.

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Shared ownership

We offer support and guidance to groups wishing to invest in privately owned renewable energy projects.

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Locally owned energy projects

The Scottish Government has set an ambition to have 1GW of locally owned energy by 2020, and 2GW by 2030. We support projects with the aim of achieving this ambition.

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Local energy systems

The Scottish Energy Strategy sets out a whole-system approach as a core principle of the future of energy in Scotland. We’ve developed resources to help develop innovative local energy systems.

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Community benefits

We provide advice and support to help communities make the most of community benefits from renewable energy developments.

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Local energy plans

We developed a guide to support communities and other stakeholders understand what’s involved in developing a local energy plan.

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Local energy principles

The Scottish Government have set 10 key principles for local energy projects in their Local Energy Policy Statement. Find out more about these principles here.

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