Disney may have captivated audiences with their fantasy animation, SHREK, but it was Fergus Ewing MSP, Minster for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, who captured the imagination of the audience at SHREC (Scottish Highland Renewable Energy Conference) on Thursday, 26 April 2012. Taking place at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness, the Minister announced a £23.5 million government loan scheme to assist communities and rural businesses throughout Scotland move their community energy renewable projects up to the planning stage.
The Community and Renewable Energy Loan Scheme (CARES) aims to support projects before they reach planning as this stage is considered too high risk for commercial loans.
The conference was also chosen to launch the Community Benefit Register. This is designed to help communities throughout Scotland maximise the rewards they receive from renewable energy developments.