Patrick Harvie, co-leader of the Scottish Greens, has claimed that the acceptance of renewable energy schemes would rise if they were to be controlled locally and democratically.
Harvie was speaking on 23 August after opening the extension of the Why Waste? Eco shop in Lerwick. He explained that there was a “huge opportunity” for Shetland and Scotland to benefit from renewable energy. However, he warned this was a benefit that would not be realised if “we just swap one bunch of multinationals with another bunch of multinationals.” Decentralised ownership of renewable energy projects is key to ensuring communities benefit, Harvie continued. He explained that there had been a concern in Shetland that decisions about place and scale of wind and other clean power developments “haven’t been right so far”.
Harvie said: “Decentralised ownership of energy can be one of the things that make the idea of having some control of your life and your community really meaningful. And I think Scotland is getting it wrong at the moment. Too much of the system is simple be dominated by big giant multinationals proposing sometimes developments that are just in the wrong place or at the wrong scale.”