In 2014, the Scottish Government published the Good Practice Principles for Community Benefits from Onshore Renewable Energy Developments. Our aim was to promote transparency in the process by providing a practical guide for stakeholders to use. The Good Practice Principles have been widely adopted across the renewables industry, providing a benchmark for the sector and becoming an invaluable tool for communities.
We signalled our intention in the Scottish Energy Strategy and supporting Onshore Wind Policy Statement (published in December 2017) to undertake a review during 2018 highlighting the changes that have been introduced to the UK renewable energy support schemes, and their effect on the decision to investment in certain renewable projects.
The review provides a good opportunity to enhance and amend some aspects to reflect lessons learned, and align with current and future investment conditions.
We expect to see a change in emphasis from the way community benefits packages were offered in the past – purely monetary payments- towards a more holistic approach of supporting a community’s needs and aspirations. However community benefits will still remain an integral part of renewable energy developments.