Across the UK, the benefits of community-owned renewable energy projects are gradually being realised, making popularity rapidly increasing. One particular project in Scotland has demonstrated how their original investment has resulted in significant long-term income as well as the security of clean, safe energy.
The Undy Community turbine in Aberdeenshire is the first wholly community-owned and operated wind turbine on the Scottish mainland and since it began turning just one year ago, it has helped to generate over £120,000 to benefit hundreds of local residents. Although the project required an original investment of £1.45 million, it is estimated to generate a staggering £5 million during the 20-year lifecycle of the turbine. This works out as the equivalent of £2,000 for each resident of the Undy Green and Pitmedden villages that the turbine is catering for.
As well as flood lights for the tennis club and a vehicle for the Pitmedden First Responders, the Undy Community Trust, who manage the income from the turbine, are now looking at longer term projects to benefit the community in the long run.
Earlier this month, SmartestEnergy, a leading buyer of renewable energy, revealed that smaller-scale renewable energy projects across Scotland could be generating over £200 million worth of power each year which is being sold to well-known companies like Marks & Spencer.
With the financial gains a clear benefit, as well as the ability to supply the country with clean energy, more and more communities are recognising the potential of renewable energy projects which suggests their popularity may well increase in the future.