CARES Conference 2023: Community action on renewable energy

Tuesday 19 September 2023

Join us this September for our annual CARES conference, sponsored by Locogen, which will take place in central Glasgow on Tuesday 19 September 2023.

The Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) supports communities to engage, participate and benefit in the energy transition to net zero. This year we’ll be looking at how even more communities can take action on renewable energy, from decarbonising community buildings through to taking shared ownership in windfarms.

In our plenary sessions we’ll be joined by Gillian Martin MSP, Minister for Energy and the Environment. We’ll hear from organisations and communities that are taking innovative approaches to community engagement as well as those that are working to decarbonise heat. We aim to bring you inspirational case studies as well as the policy and learning behind the action.

After lunch we’re running two sets of parallel practical sessions. Here you’ll be able to choose from workshops that include shared ownership, decarbonising community buildings, the latest information on heat pumps, and best practice in the use of community benefits. We’ve designed these sessions to help you understand what knowledge, skills, and actions you might need to develop your community renewable energy projects.

Throughout the day you’ll be able to meet Local Energy Scotland’s local development officers. You’ll be able to find out more about CARES and ask specific questions about existing renewable energy projects or an idea you might have that could be eligible for CARES support.

Read our blog to learn more about our speakers and their background.

Please see below for our draft agenda and keep an eye out for updates!


The conference will take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Cambridge Street, Glasgow G2 3HN.

The hotel is close to major public transport hubs. Cycle parking is available in the hotel’s underground car park.

How to book

The conference has now sold out. If you didn’t manage to book your place and are interested in attending, you can email and we’ll contact you as soon as a space becomes available.

If you have booked a ticket and are no longer able to attend, please email with your booking reference and mention ‘Conference cancellation’ in the subject heading. This will enable us to free up spaces for people on the waiting list.

Please note, the conference is free to attend and is primarily for communities with an interest in renewable energy. Please do not book multiple spaces if you are not from a community organisation. If you book a space and are unable to attend, please let us know as soon as you can so that we can reallocate it. We want to avoid wasting public funds on unused places as well as food waste.

Join our waiting list now. Remember to book your conference space and two workshop sessions.



9am – 9.45am – Arrival and Registrations

Refreshments will be available on arrival.

Please note that the following times for the morning session are approximate and are subject to change.

9.45am – 10:10am – Welcome from Local Energy Scotland

10.10am – 11.20am – Inspiring community engagement and action

Panel discussion and Q&A.

11.20am – 11.35am – Break for refreshments

11.35am – 12:45pm – Developing and rolling out low carbon heat solutions

Panel discussion and Q&A.

12:45pm – 1:45pm – Lunch and networking

Development officers will be available for questions about CARES.

1:45pm – 2:45pm – Workshop session 1

We will run three workshop sessions in parallel. Please choose one session, to be booked in advance.

  • Introduction to community shared ownership of windfarms
  • Innovation – what’s next for community energy?
  • Decarbonising community buildings and place-based climate action

2:45pm – 3.00pm – Break for refreshments

3:00pm – 4.00pm – Workshop session 2

We will run three workshop sessions in parallel. Please choose one session, to be booked in advance.

  • Preparing for community shared ownership of windfarms
  • Heat pumps – heating for net zero
  • Community Benefits – from community action plans to net zero

4.05pm – 4.25pm – Ms Gillian Martin, Minister for Energy and the Environment, will set out the Scottish Government’s ambitions and support for community energy policy and CARES going forward.

4.30pm – Conference closes

4.30pm – 5.30pm – Sponsored drinks reception by Locogen.



Community Energy Scotland Conference: Wednesday 27 September, Edinburgh

Engage in peer-learning and directly contribute to the new policy service to deliver fair and inclusive decarbonisation this September at the Community Energy Scotland (CES) Conference.

Inspiring talks, dynamic panel discussions and engaging workshops with guests from across the sector will help to shape and stimulate community-led decarbonisation. Key topics include policy and advocacy, alleviating fuel poverty, carbon assessments and action planning, repowering, and sustainable transport.

Communities now face unprecedented challenges, so join CES on Wednesday 27 September in Edinburgh for an exchange of specialist expertise and experience to enable fair, inclusive decarbonisation.

Find out more about the CES Conference and book your space.