Highland Council members will next week consider a report which looks at ways in which the local authority can leverage funding to deliver renewable energy projects to deliver net zero, generate income and maximise opportunities for the Highlands to benefit as a whole.
Alongside this, Councillors will also be asked to look at measures relating to the development of complimentary approaches relating to community benefit and community wealth building.
Highland Council Leader, Cllr Raymond Bremner, said:
“Scotland is in a strong position to lead an energy transition that secures net-zero, enhances energy security, and lowers energy costs for consumers.
“Highland provides possibly the best prospects for delivering these outcomes.
“However, there are significant constraints in terms of grid capacity and energy policy.
“In order to capitalise on these opportunities, the Highland Council needs to work with the Scottish and UK Governments, network operators and energy suppliers, commercial partners and communities to lobby for change; maximise funding availability; and develop green energy schemes that not only deliver financial returns to the Council over the short, medium and long term, but also ensure that the Highlands benefits as a whole from the green energy revolution.”
As set out in a report to Council in June 2023, Renewable Investment in Solar and Battery Storage, The Highland Council is developing a dynamic and comprehensive plan aimed at transforming its regional infrastructure while offering substantial business opportunities in the renewable energy sector.
A Sustainable Highland Environment and Global Centre for Renewable Energy is one of the five key themes in The Council’s Programme 2022-2027.
This commits the Council to accelerate its response to the climate and ecological emergency and make the most of the financial and environmental opportunities arising from the huge renewable energy potential of the Highlands.
Sitting under this heading are actions relating to sustainable travel/transport; green energy; and net-zero transition, all of which are supported and advanced through the approaches set out in Item 11 of the report to full Council.
A detailed portfolio plan for renewables investment will be presented to Members as part of the Council’s budget in February 2024.