A SCHEME has been launched to help community groups across Scotland set up renewable energy generation projects.

The Scottish Government has announced they have set up a £1.5m fund called the Community Energy Generation Growth Fund (CEGGF) which will offer support to local communities to help install renewable energy projects.

Applicants can secure money from the scheme for projects like installing wind turbines, solar panels, or hydro including developing other renewable energy sources that may fit the local community needs.

The Scottish Government also confirmed that community groups who are successful with their applications will also be able to earn money from their projects, for example, they are allowed to sell any excess energy generated.

READ MORE: Campaign launched for more community ownership projects for renewable energy

Speaking at the All-Energy conference on Wednesday, Màiri McAllan, Net Zero Secretary, said Scottish communities are at the heart of the net zero transition and that they should benefit financially by investing in renewables.

She said: “Scotland is fast becoming a renewable energy powerhouse, with enormous benefits for our people, economy and environment.

“Scotland’s communities must be at the heart of this journey. I am determined to ensure they can lead and benefit from this era-defining transition.

“This fund will support the creation of locally owned energy projects which can reduce energy costs, generate revenue, and help drive Scotland’s transition to net zero.”

The National: Mairi McAllan confirmed on Thursday the Scottish Government is scrapping a key climate change target because it will not be achieved (Andrew Milligan/PA)Màiri McAllan announced the new funding scheme at the All=Energy conference in Glasgow

The CEGGF is part of the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES), which has awarded more than £65m in funding for renewable projects across the country and will run as a pilot until March 2025.

The scheme will also provide longer-term support for community-owned energy generation projects through CARES.

The launch of the scheme follows the announcement by Community Land Scotland of the campaign for more community ownership for renewable energy projects.

The coalition consists of six community-owned renewable energy projects and is calling for a new approach to retain sustainable energy and the wealth generated in local communities.

Ailsa Raeburn, the chair of Community Land Scotland has welcomed the new funding scheme and would like to see more investment into community projects so everyone can benefit from investing in sustainable energy sources.

She said: “I think it is absolutely critical that the Scottish Government recognises that actually investing into local communities and local people is in an investment into the long term so it creates that bedrock of community wealth which is very important.

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“We have seen we have loads of fantastic examples of what can be done if you provide that sort of investment so we really welcome Mrs McAllan’s commitment today.

“We would really like to talk about how we can do more of that and actually how can we scale it up so more communities and probably not just those communities that have access to renewable resources but perhaps communities in the centre of Glasgow or Edinburgh that really do need support.

“How can we ensure that the benefits of this renewable revolution is spread across all of Scotland and not just focused on particular areas.”

Chris Morris, fund administrator at Local Energy Scotland, also welcomed the announcement of the new funding scheme as he said: “We are excited to support this fund and we know that there are communities across Scotland who are developing renewable energy projects who can accelerate their projects with this funding.

“This fund can help communities to realise their ambitions and Local Energy Scotland can help identify the best opportunities and prioritise next steps.”