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Renewable Energy Law

Renewable Energy Law

Scotland is as an international front runner in renewable energy. Over the last 20 years a strong focus on nurturing new technology and engaging with the technical and regulatory challenges of consenting and then building new schemes has paid dividends, with enough installed capacity today to potentially power every single home in the country. The Scottish Government aims to go further still, and is targeting enough installed capacity by 2030 to generate at least 50% of all of the country’s energy needs (electricity, heating and transport) from renewable sources. A combination of a supportive Scottish Government, superior renewables resources, world-leading research capabilities and international appeal for investors and developers alike has made Scotland a highly attractive place to be in the renewables business.

Onshore wind in Scotland is more developed than ever, making a significant contribution to the UK’s installed capacity.  Offshore wind is also gathering pace with the commissioned 90MW Robin Rigg project, the Beatrice project approaching construction and several others in development.  Scotland is also a market-leader in hydro power generation, having been an early adopter of the technology given our unique landscape and naturally abundant water resources.  Some hydro schemes commissioned in the 1950’s and 1960’s are still generating power today, and new schemes are being advanced all the time. Wave and tidal energy is also well represented in Scotland, with our coastline and inlets ideal for such technologies. Scotland is also home to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) based in Orkney, which has been in operation for more than a decade and which has installed more grid-connected marine energy converters than any other single site in the world. Scotland has long championed a zero waste culture   and there are ever increasing opportunities to develop energy from waste projects capitalising on waste streams that are now being diverted from landfill. In the social and local authority housing sectors both gas and biomass district heating systems are becoming increasingly popular, but in the private sector the ‘cost/benefit’ balance of such schemes is not so clear cut.

Whatever the project, whatever the technology and whatever your interest might be, Burness Paull’s renewables team has the experience, the expertise and the passion to support and advise you at every step.

With our team of over 30 experts  we advise on all aspects of  the full range of both mature and emerging technologies: wind (onshore and offshore), hydro, wave & tidal, solar, energy-from-waste and biomass processes.

  • Land acquisition and land issues;
  • The planning process, including appeals;
  • Grid connections;
  • Corporate structuring and related matters;
  • Joint ventures and special purpose vehicles;
  • Power purchase agreements;
  • Fundraising and financing arrangements;
  • EPC contracting;
  • Construction and related developments (including turbine supply and operational and maintenance agreements);
  • Community participation and community ownership models; and
  • Acquisitions and disposals of project interests and entities.

Burness Paull has acted for sector-leading businesses and development partners including ScottishPower Renewables, Fred Olsen Renewables, BayWa r.e. UK, Invenergy LLC, Centrica, Ecotricity, North British Windpower, 2020 Renewables, Partnerships for Renewables, Vattenfall AB and Duke Energy Corporation.. We have been involved in almost all of Scotland’s major onshore wind projects, and we also have significant expertise in single turbine installations.. We are also the market-leaders in smaller, community-based projects. For example, we have acted in over twenty community renewables projects all across Scotland, from the Borders to the Outer Hebrides. We have exceptional relationships with umbrella bodies and development partners for community renewables such as Community Energy Scotland and the Development Trusts Association (Scotland), as well as private investors and developers active in this sector.