Scotland’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme appears to have been a success, but how can organisations get involved?
Since 2013, the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) has provided approximately £35m for more than 200 renewable energy initiatives across Scotland. But unlike other renewable initiatives, CARES provides advice and funding to local community groups, councils and not-for-profit organisations, as well as to small- to medium-sized businesses interested in developing local heat and power generation.
It is run by Local Energy Scotland – a non-governmental consortium of Scottish energy charities, including the Energy Saving Trust – which has offices throughout Scotland, and provides experts who can offer free and impartial advice on opportunities for developing heat and power generation, energy storage and even electric car chargers for their communities.
Five years after it began, what is the verdict? Paul Wheelhouse, MSP minister for energy, is emphatic. “CARES has been a tremendous success story and I want to ensure that it continues,” he says.