The Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) Conference today (15/3/16) brings together communities, Scottish and international experts to ensure Scottish communities continue to benefit from local natural resources, says Friends of the Earth Scotland.

The two-day event, organized by Local Energy Scotland in Stirling will celebrate the achievement of Scottish projects and provide valuable information for those thinking of starting their own.

Anne Schiffer, Friends of the Earth Scotland community power campaigner commented: “In an increasingly challenging UK policy environment for renewables, this is a great opportunity for communities, technical and government experts to come together and help ensure that community energy in Scotland thrives in the face of adversity.

Scotland met its 2020 target of 500MW of community energy in October 2015 but Schiffer believes this is not the end of the story. She continued
“Scotland should rightly be proud of our achievements in meeting our target for community and locally owned energy 5 years ahead of schedule but this should spur us on to greater ambition. We want the next Scottish Government to commit a doubling of the target to 1GW by 2020 and for 2GW for 2030.

Last year Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative raised £1.5mill to install solar panels on 25 public buildings across the city. Anne Schiffer continued,
“Community energy helps tackle climate change and enables communities to use local natural resources to create good jobs and strengthen our local economies. Local authorities have an vital role to play in making sure projects such as the Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative are a success.”

The conference, has been supported by the Scottish Community Energy Coalition. Anne Schiffer concluded: “The Scottish Community Energy Coalition is delighted to sponsor this conference for a second year and to help communities learn about how they can get support for and benefit from these projects.”

Notes to Editors

1. Local Energy Scotland will be holding a Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) Conference in Stirling on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th March 2015. The conference will celebrate the achievement of Scottish projects and provide information for those thinking of starting their own. http://www.localenergyscotland.org/conference

2. Community Power is an international project that aims to speed up the delivery of community owned renewable energy which benefits both people and the planet. Community Power brings together twelve European partners including Friends of the Earth Scotland and ICLEI – European Secretariat of Local Authorities for Sustainability. For more information visit http://www.communitypower.scot.

3. Scottish Community Energy Coalition includes Client Earth, Community Energy Scotland, Energy4All, Energy Action Scotland, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Local Energy Scotland, SCENE and Sharenergy. http://www.communitypower.scot/scottish-community-energy-coalition/

4. Energy4All community share offers raise over £5.5m http://www.thenews.coop/101246/news/community/energy4all-community-share…

4. Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organization
* 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, 74 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups. www.foe-scotland.org.uk