THE number of community-owned renewable energy projects in Scotland has surged by 62% since 2011 – with over 450 local communities now benefitting from green power initiatives.

Initiatives such as the Community Empowerment Act and the Local Energy Challenge Fund have helped support communities to develop their own low-carbon energy

This has allowed 456 communities to benefit from wind, solar, hydro, heat pump and biomass projects across the country, a growth of over 62% in the last 7 years, according to stats from the independent Scottish Parliament Information Centre.

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SNP MSP Gillian Martin, who sits on Holyrood’s Economy Committee, said: “Renewable energy is the future – and it’s incredible to see so many communities already benefitting from these projects.

“The rapid increase in community-owned green energy projects can not only help communities cut down on their carbon footprint, but it will also save them money – providing them with the energy they need now and in the future as the technology progresses further.

“And as the planet continues to warm and the devastating impact of climate change hits communities across the globe, the need for these small, community-based projects becomes ever more important as we seek a sustainable future.

“This is why it is so short sighted that the Tories have cut subsidies for the renewable sector – we need to support this technology and help it develop and succeed for the good of the environment, public health and the economy. The Tories should be reinstating subsidies and supporting this sector as a matter of urgency.

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“Despite these challenges, it is excellent to see communities across Scotland benefitting with continued Scottish Government investment – and it’s clear that this is a sector that will continue to thrive for decades to come with the right support.”