Community Energy Fortnight started yesterday on June 14 2021 to celebrate community energy across the UK, and this week also marks the launch of a new exciting project in Uist to plan and design energy projects to deliver a low carbon future for our islands – the Uist Local Energy Plan.
A community-led Local Energy Plan enables the local community to look at its existing and future energy needs (in terms of power, heat and transport) and state where it sees priorities for action.
The Local Energy Plan (LEP) will set out the aspirations and priorities of the local community for the future development of energy from Berneray to Eriskay. The LEP will be delivered by a partnership between North Uist Development Company, Community Energy Scotland and Coimhearsnachd Bharraigh agus Bhatarsaidh, using a wealth of local island expertise in community energy.
The project will be supported and driven by a Steering Group and an Advisory Group with members across the community to represent the area in which they live and the sector they are skilled in, such as energy efficiency, transport, fisheries, the environment, education, and crofting.
Janet Foggie, Chief Executive Officer of Community Energy Scotland said “Communities across Scotland are turning their attention to our need for a fair and equal transition to Net Zero, for the people who live in Uist the Uist Local Energy plan gives people an excellent opportunity to be part of the shaping for the future of the island. Community Energy Scotland are proud to play their part in including everyone in the Energy Plan and in working to ensure that building a sustainable future for Uist is given the headstart it needs.”
Uist Wind’s two 900kW turbines in North Uist and, old car meets new EV at the South Uist games as part of Uist Energy in Motion.
The Uist LEP builds on from a Scottish pilot project - Delivering COmmunity BENefits of Civic Energy (COBEN); which included Barra as one of the pilot areas.
Community based plans empower the community to collectively take ownership of their local energy needs and so communities can actively shape their own future. The Scottish Government has a target of 2GW of community and locally owned renewable energy by 2030; part of the wider target of ambitious targets of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and a 75% reduction by 2030.
Similar plans are being developed across Europe, in both mainland and island settings. The Clean Energy for EU Islands Secretariat supported pioneering islands on the development of their Clean Energy Transition Agendas (CETAs): strategic roadmaps for the transition process towards clean energy; including a combined CETA for the islands of Eigg, Muck, Rum, Canna, Fair Isle, Foula, and the peninsula of Knoydart in Scotland.
Norman MacAskill, Chair of South Uist Renewable Energy Ltd (Stòras Uibhist) said “With Glasgow soon hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), now is the perfect time for communities across Uist to work together to deliver a local energy plan that drives forward the energy transition. We look forward to working with all involved in the project over the coming months, and sharing the findings with the wider community in early 2022.”
Stewart Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Tighean Innse Gall (TIG) said “TIGs role is to help ensure that we sew the thread from your house in Ceannaridh to COP 26 linking in all the policies and programmes of delivery in between. People expect a just transition and TIG believe the Uist Local Energy Plan will be a key driver for this, we applaud the true Uist style of boldness of vision and determination to succeed.”
NUDC aims to communicate project milestones and successes as widely as possible, and this news feed highlights key articles.