Renewable energy resources
Identifying what renewable energy resources you have can help to inform what type of project you should take forward. There are a number of freely available sources of information to assist a community to decide on what type of project to develop.
Take a look at our matrix to help to identify which technologies might be most suited to your community.
Biomass is the name used to describe any material made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen that is or was recently living and can be used to generate energy when combusted. Commonly, biomass is used to describe logs, wood chip and wood pellets. Biomass is considered a carbon neutral and sustainable source of heating and electricity production.
Argyll has significant biomass resources as approximately 30% of Argyll and Bute Council’s land mass is covered in commercial forestry.
Biomass boilers have been installed in a number of locations across Argyll and Bute including at the Strachur Memorial Hall.
"The perceived benefits were a reduction in carbon footprint of approximately 20 tonnes of CO2 per annum and proofing against oil price-inflation." - Strachur Memorial Hall Committee Website
To see other developments in your area view our interactive renewables map.
Some biomass installations may generate income through the Renewable Heat Incentive.
Case studies of community renewable projects can be found at
All have good case studies of community renewable projects around the country.
To find out more about biomass technology and how it works please see the links provided below:
Use Wood Fuel Scotland provides information on biomass and guidance for biomass users
Community Renewable Energy Toolkit, Section 1 of the toolkit provides an overview of the basics of energy production, renewable energy and carbon counting whilst Section 3.4 of the toolkit includes details on the fundamentals of biomass, the different types of installation available and the steps involved in developing and operating a community owned a biomass installation.
Argyll and Bute has significant amounts of forestry resource with an estimate 30% of all land in the area covered by forestry. Despite this abundance of resource, communities looking to install a biomass heating system need to consider their supply of clean processed wood fuel as wet wood fuel can cause biomass boilers to fail. An up to date and comprehensive list of woodfuel suppliers in Argyll and Bute is available from ALIenergy and the Forestry Commission Scotland.
The following organisations can provide assistance in developing a biomass project:
Check out the CROP Support page for help in setting your own renewables project.
You can get advice from our Planning team.
The Community Development Team can assist in local consultation or developing a community action plan.
The Social Enterprise Team can assist with advice regarding social enterprises, grants and funding.
The Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scotland (CARES) scheme is delivered by Local Energy Scotland, which aims to enable community and rural business uptake of renewable energy. The CARES Toolkit will guide you through developing a renewable energy project and includes specific guidance on hydro energy.
Community Energy Scotland (CES) provide free and impartial advice to community organisations.
The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) is an independent charity that provides advice, guidance and training to individuals, groups and organisations throughout the UK looking to become more sustainable.
The Energy Saving Trust offer free and impartial advice on small scale renewable energy technologies including hydro. The EST’s renewable energy selector tool will help you to find out which renewable energy technology will benefit you most. Please note that the EST renewable selector tool only applies to domestic buildings.
Resource Efficient Scotland is a Scottish Government funded programme which helps businesses, the public sector and the third sector save money by using resources more efficiently. The programme builds on the previous Scottish Government funded business and public sector advice services delivered by Zero Waste Scotland, Carbon Trust and EST so that advice on energy, water, materials and waste can be accessed from a single service.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) works to make sure the UK has secure, clean, affordable energy supplies and promote international action to mitigate climate change. As part of this remit DECC provides an overview of the advice available for people and organisations interested in developing a community owned renewable energy project in the UK.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are the Scottish Government's economic and community development agency for the north and west of Scotland that aims to generate sustainable economic growth in every part of the Highlands and Islands. HIE recognises that communities can benefit significantly from renewable energy and provides support and advice to businesses and social enterprises looking to benefit from the renewables industry.