We have a new website go to gov.scot


Community and locally owned

The Scottish Government's Energy Strategy (published December 2017) sets out our vision for a flourishing, competitive local and national energy sector. Scotland's communities have a key role to play in realising that vision, and we are committed to continuing to support and empower them as they look to develop more complex and bespoke renewables projects offering a wider range of benefits. 

We have set targets of 1GW of community and locally-owned renewable energy by 2020, 2 GW by 2030, and for at least half of all newly consented renewable energy projects to have an element of shared ownership by 2020. 

Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES)

The Scottish Government's Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) is delivered on our behalf by Local Energy Scotland.

CARES was first established in 2011 to encourage local and community ownership of renewable energy across Scotland, and has been at the forefront of supporting local energy since.

For further information on CARES please visit Local Energy Scotland or freephone on 0808 808 2288.

Good Practice Principles and Community Benefits Register

The Scottish Government has published the following Good Practice Principles guidance:

In addition, the Scottish Government established a public Community Benefit Register.  The Register is maintained on our behalf by Local Energy Scotland who are tasked with updating it on a regular basis.

A link to the register is enclosed below;  

Community Benefits Register

Review of Good Practice Principles

In the Energy Strategy (and Supporting Onshore Wind Policy Statement) we gave a commitment to review our Good Practice Principles for Community Benefits from Onshore Renewable Energy Developments and Shared Ownership from Onshore Renewable Energy Developments.

As part of this process, we will also review our Good Practice Principles for Community Benefits from Offshore Renewable Energy Developments.

Our aim is to ensure that Scottish communities continue to benefit from local projects in a manner that is appropriate for the current and future context in which renewable energy projects are developed.

Key areas for consideration will include;

  • new project business models
  • legacy arrangements
  • repowering opportunities

Steering Group:

To support our review process, a Steering Group chaired by the Scottish Government and comprising of representatives of industry and community groups and organisations has been established. The Terms of Reference for the Group, including a draft timescale for the review are enclosed below;

Terms of Reference

The first meeting of the Steering Group took place on Thursday 29 of March in Edinburgh.  A link to the minutes is enclosed below;

Minutes 29 March 2018 

A further meeting took place on Friday 25 of May in Perth;

Minutes 25 May 2018

Gathering Evidence:

Prior to undertaking a formal consultation planned for later in the year, we are currently gathering evidence from a wide range of stakeholders.

Part of which includes holding a number of focused workshops.  The first of these took place at the CARES Conference 2018 on Thursday 19 April, further workshops took place on 15 and 20 June.

The workshops are structured around a number of questions which were agreed in advance by the Steering Group as follows: 

Workshop Questions

However, we want to ensure that all interested parties have the opportunity to contribute their views at this stage. Should you wish to do that, please submit your contributions via our mail box at:


You may wish to use the questions as a way to structure your reply but this is only a guide and you should not feel restricted if you have other points to make.

Latest News: 



Speaking at the annual CARES Conference on Wednesday 18 April, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Energy and Innovation announced that the Scottish Government's Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) is now open for business with up to £5 million available. 

Further details including how to apply, are available from Local Energy Scotland.