Stakeholders in Scotland
The RECENT project aims to increase the energy knowledge in rural communities, and help them to have more resilient and energy efficient infrastructure capable of handling climate change related risks. It was acknowledged by the Scottish Stakeholders’ that there has been excellent work delivered in the past few years by a range of stakeholders in community renewable energy however,
• It was acknowledged that most of the work in Scotland to date had been focused on electricity within communities so the potential for RECENT to look at heat, energy and private wire use would be of great interest.
• Scottish Water, our National Water Utility has a range of interactions with remote, rural communities, however lacks a national policy for this type of engagement. RECENT is an excellent opportunity to address this
• Benchmarking pilot solutions to gain benefit from the transnational collaboration;
• A knowledge exchange programmes, with workshops, best practice guidelines and templates to improve the stock of organisational knowledge and positive impact on public policy.
• Contribution to policy and debate on sustainable community energy at regional, national and European levels through the development of a multi-level stakeholder group, interacting nationally and trans-nationally, with the RECENT partners who will act as the secretariat.
Regional Stakeholder Steering Group in Scotland:
Rather than holding an initial Stakeholder Workshop to kick off the project, it was decided that the most effective method of achieving the above objectives would be to create a Scottish Stakeholder Steering Group, which would meet every 6 months throughout the duration of the project.
This group would ensure that the objectives of the project were being met and that there was consistent delivery within Scotland to communities and that any gaps in the current delivery were effectively met through the delivery of the project
Which types of stakeholders participated in the Steering Group meetings -
• Scottish Government – Hydro Nation
• Local Energy Scotland
• Scottish Water
• Highlands and Islands Enterprise
• International Resources and Recycling Institute
Challenges and issues identified by stakeholders
Withdrawal and reduction of renewable energy financial support making it increasingly difficult to make community energy projects financially viable. This results in some key challenges in the RECENT context:
• A requirement to support and develop community resilience related to renewable energy assets in a way that is complementary and adds value to current arrangements
• For communities, acquisition or access to land can be time consuming and presently must be sold at “highest market value”
• Communities finding difficulty in raising the full project finance or to fund the private wire connection to a Scottish Water Asset.