Additional funding of £5.5 million is being made available for renewables projects to contribute towards a green recovery following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Communities will be able to bid for a share of £4.5 million through the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES), which funds local renewable projects.

A further £1 million is being made available through the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP) – a scheme which provides support for innovative energy projects such as heat networks and integrated energy systems.

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse announced the investment as he addressed the virtual All Energy Conference. He also confirmed that Lewis Shand Smith, former Chief Ombudsman in Energy, Telecoms and Property, has been appointed Chair of the newly formed Energy Consumers Commission.

Mr Wheelhouse said:

“Renewables will play an increasing role in helping us achieve a green recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue to plan for a safe restart to the economy, we must continue to work together to bring forward new renewable energy projects right across Scotland.

“The investment I am announcing today will help to push forward renewables projects that will help to rebuild the economy, support local communities to build their strength and resilience, and help us achieve our net-zero ambitions.

“Consumers and local communities are integral to the green recovery, and helping us rebuild following the pandemic. The new Energy Consumers Commission is a key part of that, and I would like to welcome Lewis Shand Smith – who brings a wealth of experience – as the commission’s first Chair.”


Priority for funding through CARES will be given to community-led development and capital stage projects, off-grid communities seeking capital investment to help maintain the security of their energy supply and rural businesses seeking development support to explore their renewable options. Further information is available on the Local Energy Scotland website.

The LCITP fund is now accepting applications from innovative energy systems and low carbon heat projects in the development stage. Eligible projects will be able to apply for up to £50,000 to progress projects towards capital readiness.

The establishment of an independent Energy Consumers Commission for Scotland was one of the recommendations of last year’s Energy Consumers Action Plan. The new body is designed to give Scottish consumers a stronger voice in energy policy.