Since 2015, the renewable energy market has changed with a new focus on more innovative grid solutions and electrical sale options, which move away from the traditional dependence on Feed-in-Tariffs (FiTs), which support for has now ended.
In terms of grid constraint issues, the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) is a body licenced to distribute electricity at regional and local level. In Scotland, there are two DNOs: Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SHEPD) covering the area north of Perth, and Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) covering the area south of Perth. Both SHEPD and SPEN have large areas of constrained grid, which can lead to an expensive connection cost or a wait of several years for a connection date. There are a range of options which can be used to overcome grid connection constraints.
To overcome both the potential issues with grid connections and financial viability, based on reducing or removed tariffs, there is a new focus on local energy supply. Different approaches can be taken to Local Energy Supply, as described in the toolkit module, these provide community groups with new options for supplying energy locally or selling electricity produced on a contract basis. This new focus on local energy supply provides the community group with a wider range of development options and the potential for increased revenue.