HM Insights

News round up for Scottish Rural Economy and Renewables sector

COVID-19 impact on renewable energy schemes

  • The Low Carbon Contracts Company has issued a Contract for Difference: Covid-19 impacts on Generators statement which confirms that COVID-19 is capable of constituting a force majeure event and requesting that generators provide details of how they have been affected.
  • The Feed-in Tariffs (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order 2020 provides small-scale renewable electricity generators with an additional six months to apply for accreditation under the Feed-In Tariffs scheme (“FIT scheme”) following unavoidable delays in commissioning their projects caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Climate change action on hold

The COP-26 UN climate change conference due to held in Glasgow in November has been postponed until mid-2021.

The Scottish Government's Climate Change Plan update, due at the end of April 2020, has also been delayed as a result of COVID-19.

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Muirburn prohibited during pandemic

Paragraph 33 of schedule 7 to the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 amends the Hill Farming Act 1946 to provide that a person may not make muirburn on land while the emergency legislation remains in place. At present, the legislation will persist for six months, until October 2020, but it may be extended for two further periods of six months if necessary. The purpose of this prohibition is to eliminate the risk of additional strain on public services from muirburn activity at a time where they are most needed elsewhere.

South Kyle windfarm

The Scottish Government has granted consent for Vattenfall's 50-turbine South Kyle Wind Farm on the border between East Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway. Vattenfall is now said to be accelerating discussions with local communities about buying a share of the wind farm which will be operational by 2023.

As well as offering local communities a right to acquire an interest of up to 5% in the scheme, Vattenfall will also provide a community benefit fund of £5,000 per MW installed per annum over the operational lifetime of the wind farm.

South of Scotland Enterprise

South of Scotland Enterprise was officially launched this month. The agency aims to work with the people and communities across the South of Scotland to establish the region as a centre of opportunity, innovation and growth.

Crown Estate Scotland Corporate Plan

Crown Estate Scotland has published its three-year plan setting out how it will manage sea, land and coastline for the benefit of Scotland’s communities and businesses.

The five main objectives are:

  1. Support the expansion of Scotland’s blue economy, focussing on marine and coastal development.
  2. Develop built environment that strengthens communities and benefits businesses
  3. Invest in innovation and work with tenants to enable sustainable use of natural resources
  4. Build partnerships for people and the planet
  5. Develop and deploy our people’s expertise to deliver value and success

The Plan includes investing £70m over three years, commercial-scale offshore wind leasing, a new communities fund and raft of support for new ways of producing food on land and at sea.

Access the full 2020-23 Corporate Plan

Get in touch

Our Rural Economy and Energy and Natural Resources team continues to work with our clients and key stakeholders to provide advice and support throughout the current lockdown as they deal with the consequences of the current pandemic. If you require any advice on the current pandemic or what opportunities it may present then please do not hesitate to contact our Team on the contact details below.

Useful links

CORONAVIRUS ADVICE