The Scottish Parliament will today (15/9/15) debate community renewable energy in Scotland to coincide with UK's Community Energy Fortnight. Ahead of the debate Friends of the Earth Scotland Community Power Campaigner Anne Schiffer said:

“Community-owned renewable energy is a big success story in Scotland and helps deliver community empowerment, creates local jobs and reduces climate change emissions. Despite the UK Government’s lack of enthusiasm for renewable energy, Scotland is on track to deliver nearly twice as much as the Scottish Government's current target for 2020 and we should send a clear message by increasing the 2020 target and setting a new ambitious target for 2030.
Now more than ever, the Scottish Government must continue to show vision and a long-term commitment to a future powered by renewables.”

“With its unique community and locally owned energy target, Scotland has established itself internationally as a recognised leader in renewable energy. Both the environment and people must be at the heart of the renewable energy transformation we need to head off climate change and we believe that the best way to achieve this is through people’s ownership of renewable energy. ”

The government’s existing target is for 500MW of local and community-owned renewable energy by 2020. 285MW of community and locally owned renewable energy was already installed by 2013 with a further 679MW in the pipeline.
Friends of the Earth Scotland are calling for the 500MW by 2020 target to be increased to 1GW. An ambitious 2030 target of 2GW for community and locally owned renewable energy would reflect the estimated overall increase in required generating capacity by 2030.

Anne Schiffer concluded: “By 2030 we will hopefully be in a situation where communities in Scotland are able to do what groups in other countries are already doing and link local generation with local supply of renewable energy.”

Notes to Editors

Friends of the Earth’s parliamentary briefing for the debate is here: http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/Comm-power-briefing-sep2015

There are 14 case studies of communities across Scotland creating their own energy here: http://www.communitypower.scot/case-studies/

The motion from Mike MacKenzie MSP will be debated at the end of the day on Tuesday and reads:

S4M-14109# Mike MacKenzie: Community Energy Fortnight 2015—That the Parliament welcomes Community Energy Fortnight 2015, which takes place from 5 to 20 September, with events across Scotland to celebrate and highlight what it considers the important role that communities have in promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency; notes that events to mark the fortnight include site visits and knowledge-sharing events in the Highlands and Islands, South Lanarkshire and in other local authority areas; recognises what it sees as the vital role that communities will play in helping to meet Scotland’s carbon and renewables targets, and congratulates the Scottish Community Energy Coalition and other groups that support communities and rural businesses to develop renewable energy schemes to create sustainable communities across Scotland.

Find out more about Community Energy Fortnight at http://www.ukcec.org

For more information on the Scottish Community Energy Coalition, see http://www.communitypower.scot/scottish-community-energy-coalition/

Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.