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£3 million funding to help off-grid communities develop greener energy

£3 million funding to help off-grid communities develop greener energy
The funding is provided through the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme.

Communities in off-grid locations are being invited to apply for a share in £3 million worth of funding to help them develop greener and cheaper energy.

The investment aims to empower communities which operate existing local independent grid electricity systems to develop independent and climate-friendly electricity supplies.

The Scottish Government said £3 million is being made available through its Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (Cares) to help those in rural and island areas develop projects in 2022-23.

Applications to the fund, administered by Local Energy Scotland, are now open.

We know that there are some unique challenges to establishing zero and low carbon electricity networks in off-grid locations – particularly on our islands and in rural areas

Michael Matheson, Energy Secretary

The fund has previously helped communities with projects including the installation of more solar panels and storage batteries to increase renewable electricity generation on Eigg, and the construction of a new buried hydropower pipeline to bring secure, renewable energy back to the community of Knoydart.

Net Zero and Energy Secretary Michael Matheson said: “Our journey to becoming a net zero nation will be truly transformative, and the Scottish Government is committed to ensuring we deliver this transformation in a way that is fair and just for everyone.

“Over the coming years, our transition to using renewable heating sources presents a huge opportunity to make our energy supply not just greener, but also cheaper and more secure.

“We know that there are some unique challenges to establishing zero and low carbon electricity networks in off-grid locations – particularly on our islands and in rural areas.

“That is why we are committed to delivering tangible support, through initiatives such as the Cares programme, to ensure we meet our climate obligations while at the same time seizing the opportunities this presents to ensure a greener, fairer future for everyone.”

The Scottish Government said that since 2013, £54 million of Cares funding has helped 600 local and community-owned renewable energy projects across Scotland.