Renewable energy can realise benefits for communities in a variety of ways as detailed in the Community Power report. Community led schemes can reduce running costs associated with community facilities, generate income for the local community and help to reduce carbon footprint. If you are developing a community scheme you will need to think carefully about what you want to achieve before deciding what type of scheme to progress. The CROP includes details of different technology to help you decide which is most appropriate.
For developer led schemes, benefits can come from
- Community benefit funds – a voluntary payment from the developer;
- Partial community ownership – through a joint venture or co-operative approach;
- Local community involvement during the construction phase of the wind farm which may support local jobs, training or education.
Some renewable energy developments, principally onshore wind farms, will make a voluntary payment to a community benefit fund. Further information about the management of funds and maximising their benefit through the development of community plans is contained within this section.
Shared ownership agreements or joint ventures are legally binding agreements between at least two organisations agreeing to undertake a project together sharing resources, expertise, risks and rewards.
Co-operative businesses are owned and run by and for their members, whether they are customers, employees or residents. Renewable energy co-operatives are becoming an increasingly popular method of developing renewable energy projects in the UK.