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Renewable Energy in Scotland

What are Renewables?

Renewables are forms of energy which are essentially inexhaustive, unlike fossil fuel sources. These sources include wind (on shore an doff shore) hydro, wave, tidal, biomass, solar and geothermal. Renewable energy can be used for heating and transport as well as electricity generation.

As the world’s population continues to increase, the Earth’s fossil fuel supplies (oil, gas, coal) being limited are depleting over time. It is becoming increasing difficult to assess the remaining reserves of these and Scientists also believe that gasses, which are released when fossil fuels are burned to produce energy, are contributing towards climate change.

There are legally binding targets set by the EU with the current 2020 targets being that 20% of the EU’s energy consumption requires to be from renewable sources.

There are many forms of renewable energy and we detail two of the key varieties below:-

Solar Energy

The most common form of solar system is a solar water heating system which uses solar panels called “collectors” which are generally fitted to roofs. These collect heat from the sun and use it to warm water which is stored in a hot water cylinder. The other type knows as “Solar Photovoltaics” involves using the suns energy to generate electricity.

Wind Energy

Whilst wind energy is one of the most mature renewables, it also requires intensive capital spending. Wind power has established itself as a consistent generator of both power and profits for land owners. Indeed wind can produce the highest financial return of any of the renewable technologies, and it is possible to achieve returns of over 20% but it can also be the most controversial and expensive in terms of planning issues. You might, for example, wish to erect and operate to turbine for your own use, and to sell energy back to the grid, or you could enter into an agreement with a third party, who wishes to operate their turbines from your land.

We are advising an increasing number of Clients on a variety of renewable energy projects and cannot stress enough the importance of land owners taking sound and independent legal advice about any proposals received before making a commitment.

For further information, please contact:

Douglas D Purdie, Partner

(01888) 563773