Community benefits schemes are a well established, integral part of onshore wind energy development, and represent a positive relationship between developers and communities.
As an industry, we are committed to ensuring these benefits are realised within local communities that host wind farms.
With the aim of formalising the industry’s approach, RenewableUK first launched its Community Benefits Protocol in February 2011. As an industry led and government backed initiative, this protocol was the first of its kind to provide clear industry-wide commitments on community benefit provision. This Protocol was further updated in October 2013 in response to the DECC call for evidence into onshore wind, which concluded in June 2013. This Protocol is supported by DECC and a range of governmental and community stakeholders.
Under the Protocol, developers in England with qualifying projects commit to provide community benefits of £5,000 per MW of installed capacity, or equivalent benefits-in-kind, directly to host communities.
These funds can be used to finance anything the community deems appropriate and necessary for their areas, including community owned renewable energy projects, village halls, recreational facilities or equipment for local schools. Benefits under the Protocol are negotiated directly with host communities.