In Project SMILEGOV, the Scottish Islands Federation (SIF) leads the capacity building involvement of 10 island communities in the project, participating alongside other cluster leaders and islands throughout European Atlantic, Baltic and Mediterranean regions.
- Sleat (Skye)
- Small Isles (Canna, Eigg, Muck, Rum)
Individuals on each of these islands, together with key staff in their respective local authorities have been invited to register and encouraged to study with SMILEGOV’s free online island energy training course.
Additionally, through a CARES project also led by SIF, energy audits are currently being undertaken on each island, with mentoring support for island auditors supplied through Community Energy Scotland. It is anticipated that these reports will serve as the basis for stakeholder meetings early in 2015, to expedite practicalities of preparing Island Sustainable Energy Action Plans, to inform, shape and focus island energy projects into the future.
SMILEGOV recognises a somewhat distinct model applying in Scotland compared to other clusters: Here, energy projects are often planned and implemented by island communities on their own behalf, supported rather than led by Local Authorities. Community engagement (such as we might take for granted as our starting point) seemingly presents challenges for some local government agencies leading energy projects on islands elsewhere. For the remaining duration of SMILEGOV, monitoring and supporting Bankable Projects within clusters is an important activity, reporting to allow for wider sharing of expertise and experience both within and between clusters. This may be in terms of planning, financial models, grid constraints, stakeholder engagement, or specialist and emergent technologies.
Other SMILEGOV deliverables, completed or pending, include case studies in effective multi level (or multi lateral) governance, and working groups and fact sheets focussed on particular projects and technologies. Working with European partners allows for better informed appraisal of how energy project planning, development and implementation on Scottish islands compares with achievements and priorities of our peers elsewhere in Europe, in order to strategically focus appropriate capacity building support and overcome obstacles. SMILEGOV: Bankable Projects registered in Scotland:
- Arran – Hydro
- Bute – Biodiesel
- Bute – PV
- Canna – Wind
- Cumbrae – Wind
- Gigha – Wind
- Lismore – wind/ hydro
- Mull – Hydro
- Mull – Virtual local grid
- Sleat – Wind
For further information contact:Terry Hegarty – SMILEGOV Project Officer, Scottish Islands Federation firstname.lastname@example.org / 01681 700600