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.
Heat Pump Basics
Due to the relatively stable year round temperatures in the atmosphere, a few meters below ground and under a few meters of water, heat can be extracted from air, the earth or water and boosted using a heat pump to supply an under floor heating system or a low temperature radiator system. Providing that the building is well insulated heat pumps can be a cheaper alternative to gas, electric or oil based heating.
Heat pumps still require an electricity source to operate, and so are rarely carbon neutral, but they are considered to be efficient form of heating system.
Despite being located on the west coast of Scotland air, ground and water temperatures can still be sufficient to run heat pumps in Argyll.
Heat pumps are located in a number of community buildings across Argyll including craignishvillagehall.org.uk.
"From the outset the community wanted a building that was as environmentally friendly as possible, so insulation well over and above the amount legally required, has been added, the underfloor heating is powered by a ground source heat pump" - Craignish Village Hall website
To see other developments in your area view our interactive renewables map.
Some heat pump 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 heat pump technology and how it works please see the links provided below:
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 3.5 of the toolkit includes details on the fundamentals of heat pumps, the different types of installation available, case studies and the steps involved in developing and operating a community owned heat pump installation.
The following organisations can provide assistance in developing a heat pump 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.
ALI Energy can offer advice and support to groups looking to develop renewable heating schemes.
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.
The Forestry Commission are working with communities who want to develop hydro energy projects on Forestry Commission land.