Loan fund explored for local energy lift

Scottish ministers will consult shortly on a range of options designed to help communities develop renewable energy projects.

Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead made the announcement last week as he unveiled a report which concludes that a new loan fund could help people investigate the potential of local energy schemes and take them to the planning stage.

"It is vital that Scotland can unlock the huge potential this country has for the local ownership of energy production which could reap such great community benefits," Lochhead said.

"There is potential for 900MW of electricity being produced from wind turbines at 340 sites, 23MW of hydro power and 800MW of biomass heating capacity across 460 installations. On the heat side alone, this equates to a 300 per cent increase on the 155 small and mediumscale systems currently operating in Scotland."

He added: "The Scottish Government is determined that communities should share in the opportunities opening up before us."

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