Energy fields Impact assessment (CARES)

  • Lord, Richard (Principal Investigator)

Project: Research

Project Details


The Energyfields project will assess the impact of reusing derelict land for renewable heat and /or power to benefit neighbouring communities whilst, at the same time using environmentally sound remediation techniques to bring the land into productive use.

This approach has the potential to deliver a step change in Scotland’s low carbon heat trajectory by unlocking the development of energy that is secure, local, low carbon and community based providing opportunities to reduce fuel poverty, provide local employment and community ownership within some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities.

Cities such as Glasgow and Dundee have already recognised the potential of reusing vacant and derelict land for renewable generation purposes to good effect. However, whilst individual technology deployment will undoubtedly provide a contribution to carbon reduction and renewable generation targets, a more integrated system approach is required if the full potential of the derelict sites are to be realized.

The Energyfields project will adopt an innovative cross-sectoral approach to land reuse bringing together specialists from renewable energy, environmental services and civil engineering disciplines with the aim of developing a methodology that can provide a step change in the speed of renewables deployment within Scotland.

The project will:
•use GIS-based energy masterplanning techniques to classify and prioritise site deployment
•work with landowners to develop beneficial business models that encourage investment
•combine energy generation and storage with smart grid techniques to develop a local energy economy
•work with local communities to provide innovative, replicable, engagement models
•develop a zoned approach to planting schemes
•Improve both the land value and visual amenity to deliver significant socio-economic benefit within some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas.

The team includes leading land restoration experts who will advise and direct remediation activities to ensure that the land is restored effectively within the life of the generation equipment.


Community And Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) Infrastructure and Innovation Fund, administered for Scottish Government by Local Energy Scotland

Layman's description

Imagine an urban environment where local low cost energy is provided by a network of shallow geothermal pipes hidden beneath a community woodland; solar arrays under planted with nettles that remove nitrogen from the soil whilst providing a potential textile fibre and wind turbines situated within a field of sunflowers, which are actively removing contaminants as they grow.

Key findings

Derelict land, especially that affected by former shallow coal mining in the Scottish Central Belt is an under-utilised resource capable of addressing the fuel and energy poverty that its prevalent in the neighbouring communities. Combinations of renewable technologies, including bioenergy, ground source heat pumps, solar PV or community wind turbines can be developed in combination to best address the aspirations of the community to their economic, social and environmental benefit.
Short titleEnergyfields
Effective start/end date1/09/1631/03/17


  • Scottish Government: £28,000.00

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy


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