Communities will be able to bid for a share of £4.5m through the Community & Renewable Energy Scheme (Cares), which funds local renewable projects.
A further £1m is being made available through the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP) – a scheme that provides support for 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 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.”
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 website.
The LCITP fund is now accepting applications in connection with 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.