Local Energy Scotland is excited to be attending the DTAS Annual Conference 29-30 August in Glasgow. Our team will be there to chat about community-driven renewable projects, shared ownership and more. In this blog, Christina Hinds, our community energy shared ownership specialist, shares why we think it’s important to partner with the DTAS network and its members.

Since its inception, the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) has advised over 900 organisations and has offered over £60 million in funding to over 680 projects. Our development officers and specialists have supported people with community led renewable projects including shared ownership, decarbonising community buildings and the new community heat development programme.

Development trusts play an important role in helping Scotland meet its net zero targets and we’re keen to work with them to do that. As organisations firmly rooted in their local areas and with expertise in local issues, they’re vital partners for us in Local Energy Scotland in all areas of our work. I’ll be there to speak to people about community shared ownership in local renewable projects, for example, wind farms built by a developer. One of our development officers, Gemma Murray, will also be attending to speak to organisations about other community-driven renewable projects.

Shared ownership is a real tangible opportunity for community wealth building as it ensures that some of the profits from renewable developments benefit the communities near them. The DTAS conference is a great opportunity for us to increase awareness of shared ownership and the support we offer throughout the process. This is an important time for development trusts to learn about shared ownership as there’s a large pipeline of projects on the way and we want to ensure communities can take advantage of the opportunities. Many development trusts already have experience that transfers well to the shared ownership process – if you’ve ever been involved in an asset transfer, applying for funds, planning, and running a project, then your organisation has valuable skills for considering a shared ownership offer.

Gemma will bring her expertise to the conference on community renewables such as decarbonising community buildings. She’ll be there to answer questions and help people with initial ideas understand the first steps for seeing them through. We’d love to talk to development trusts from communities that haven’t yet had opportunities to build up their skills and experience on community renewables – we have CARES funding, technical experts we can refer you to, and our experienced development officers to guide you through the process.

Do come and say hello to us at our market stall on the Tuesday morning or find us at the community benefit fund session on the Wednesday.

If you’re unable to attend but would like to speak to us about a project, then please contact your local development officer who will be able to help.