Renewable energy resources
Identifying what renewable energy resources you have can help to inform what type of project you could 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.
A wind turbine is a device that uses blades to capture wind energy that turns a rotor that powers a generator producing electricity. The most common form of wind turbine design is a horizontal axis turbine which generally has two or three blades that turn to face into or away from the prevailing wind.
Argyll and Bute has a significant wind resource suitable for the installation of wind turbines. Wind turbines in Argyll make up 16% of the total current renewable energy generation capacity in Argyll and Bute.
The Islands of Gigha and Tiree both have community wind turbines which help to generate income for the island and identified community projects. The Ardrishaig Community Trust has a 1/12 investment in the Allt Dearg Windfarm which is generating income for the local community.
"In April 2013 an early payment of £50,000 was received due to the fantastic success of the Allt Dearg project... The majority of this money was paid out to local groups and projects." - Ardrishaig Community Trust"
To see other developments in your area view our interactive renewables map.
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 how wind technology works check out these links:
wind webpage provides a brief overview of wind technology.
Community Renewable Energy Toolkit, Section 1 provides an overview of the basics of energy production, renewable energy and carbon counting whilst Section 3.3 and Section 6 provides details on wind energy.
There are a number of online wind speed estimation tools. Every online wind speed estimation should be regarded as an indication of the potential wind speed and no decision to install a wind turbine should be made without measuring the onsite wind speed with an anemometer first.
- The Energy Saving Trust has a wind speed calculator on their website.
- The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have a wind speed estimation tool on their website.
The following organisations can provide assistance in developing a wind turbine 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 calculation 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 wind energy projects on Forestry Commission land.