Act: Inspiration

Scotland Promotes Local, Shared Ownership of Renewable Energy Infrastructure

June 22, 2018

In 2011, the Scottish government established the policy goal to dramatically reduce its reliance on nonrenewable energy sources. According to its 2020 Routemap for Sustainable Energy in Scotland, “community benefits and scope for local ownership of energy are key elements of public engagement in renewables, helping to change cultural attitudes to renewables as well as to generate local revenue as part of the green low carbon economy.”

Accordingly, the Scottish government established a target of 500 MW community and locally owned renewable energy capacity by 2020. This is small compared to the total 15,000 MW target, but large compared to the 180 MW of existing, planned, or under construction local projects in 2011.

To help reach the target, Local Energy Scotland, a consortium of several different institutions, established a web portal with a comprehensive set of tools and resources for communities and rural businesses that want to start renewable energy projects. It includes an interactive map of existing projects, access to free advice, a comprehensive guide to shared ownership of projects, and more.

In 2015, the 500 MW target of local renewable energy capacity was achieved. This target may not have been ambitious, but the support base is there to greatly exceed it.

View the full policy here.


This article is cross posted with permission from

Wolfgang Hoeschele

Born in Germany and having grown up in Thailand, Korea, and Greece, Wolfgang Hoeschele pursued his higher education in the US, culminating in a doctorate in geography at Pennsylvania State University. He then taught geography at Truman State University in Missouri from 1998 until 2014. His research at first focused on land degradation in the state of Kerala in southern India, but subsequently turned to a critique of an economics that finds value only in scarce commodities, because only those are profitable. Instead, he promotes an economics of abundance, that seeks to ensure that all people, regardless of their backgrounds, now and in the future, are enabled to live well. These ideas are explained in his book (The Economics of Abundance: A Political Economy of Freedom, Equity, and Sustainability, Gower in 2010). Some of the key features of an abundant economy consist of shared ownership of important resources and assets, and increased self-reliance at household and community levels. In fact, virtually all the ideas promoted on would form part of an economy of abundance. Wolfgang Hoeschele now lives in Heidelberg, Germany, focusing his efforts on a systemic analysis of the faults in the economic system that prevent us from living sustainably and abundantly, and on promoting ways to fix those systems faults.
What I Share
Knowledge, insights, books, bike riding, gardening in a community garden

Tags: community energy projects, renewable energy transition