The Energy, Economy and Tourism committee of the Scottish Parliament asked for evidence for its Inquiry into the Scottish Government’s Renewables Targets. Stressing the importance of the role of communities, The Islay Energy Trust has submitted a response asking for a further question to be considered by the committee:
“To what extent can communities contribute to and benefit from realising carbon savings/renewable energy targets?”
There are three reasons for posing this question, supported by IET’s experience on Islay.
- Talk of energy supply targets is meaningless without addressing the issue of potential reductions in energy consumption, which could make supply targets more achievable, or not as the case may be. Community action can play a significant role in helping reduce consumption.
- Community initiatives in developing renewable energy projects should not be ignored in the supply equation. Community Energy Scotland has already drawn the Committee’s attention to the contribution nationally that community-owned projects can make, and IET’s development of renewables projects is receiving widespread local support.
- Community support for larger scale renewable energy projects can facilitate the consenting process and add value to all stakeholders. However, such support can be difficult to harness without early and genuine local consultation, and comprehensive social impact assessments.
The full submission can be read here: 26 February 2012 – IET submission to Scottish Parliament Inquiry into Energy Targets