Analysing Social & Economic Impacts
We want to try to capture the change in confidence, resilience and wealth of communities as a result of their energy projects.
Sometimes it’s the small stories that stick in your memory more! How having a regular, warm, local playgroup for your child can enable you to get back into employment; how through confidence gained in researching your project you are able to question guidance that says something can’t be done - to find you are right and that the guidance is indeed incorrect! We in Community Energy Scotland hear these stories all the time.
A few years ago we took the first steps to attempt to quantify these socio/economic impacts through a pilot survey by an independent consultant. With a 65% response rate from 85 groups contacted, the survey found that there were significant increases in such things as community sense of purpose, skills gained through the projects and the all crucial financial sustainability. A two page summary of this survey can be read here.
Several other surveys are currently underway. Through research into economic development and community land ownership, the Open University in Scotland developed an interest in the economic impact of locally-owned and developed renewable energy projects. Partnership between the OU and Community Energy Scotland provided access to a number of projects which were interviewed both face-to-face and telephone. The results of this work will be available soon.