Trade body Scottish Renewables has welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to impose a cap on selected business rate rises.

Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay introduced business rates relief for renewable energy companies, including those generating hydro-electric power.

Hannah Smith, Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “However, businesses have no idea what their bills will be from April 2018, so it is important that government, the assessors and industry work together to review the way values are calculated and ensure that renewable energy projects are taxed in a fair and proportionate manner from next year.”

“It is disappointing that there will be no specific relief for small-scale onshore wind and solar generators, which are also facing very large increases, but the relief for new-build schemes and those with an element of community investment is welcome.”

Help for hydro

Some hydro projects had been facing a rise of 650%. Instead, the increase in business rates will be capped at 12.5%. District heating scheme will receive 50% rates relief for the next 12 months.

Ahead of the move Alba Energy, which represents a number of Scotland’s small-scale hydro operators, had warned that small hydro-businesses faced bills on some sites rising to as much as a quarter of their total turnover, threatening some with insolvency, and casting doubt on the long-term financial sustainability of the rest.

> See the Scottish Government's statement