Community scale renewable and sustainable energy system examples have enabled specific Scottish communities to establish themselves as places for academic study and eco-tourism providing a boost to their local economic situation; however, these are not yet fully developed to cover all energy demands. Current engineering design process covers financial, energy and possibly carbon, there is also occasionally an environmental impact assessment, there is however no design process which captures the required multi-criteria sustainability assessment including society, work, water, environment, ecology, health etc. to support balanced decision making on future strategy. Such assessment methods are currently unavailable and should be developed and piloted in the Brazil and Scotland focus locations.
The opportunity exists to develop energy and sustainability assessment and design methods. These could then be applied to develop future roadmaps for the Scottish Communities (Islands and Grid Connected) already at the energy frontier.
Other Communities aspiring to become energy independent and have local sustainable systems (e.g. Kinlochleven) can then also be supported with multi-faceted sustainability assessment methods used in planning and design of appropriate local energy systems.
The development of similar initiatives for Rural Workers Temporary Camps and Permanent Settlements in Brazil incorporating the use of multi criteria assessment methods in design and implementation of local energy systems can give potential for local employment and economic benefits as seen in Scotland. For temporary settlements (and possibly also more permanent locations) there would appear to be an opportunity to develop a modular portable renewable energy system in a box. This could be expanded to provide additional social facilities.
Whether in Scotland or Brazil, the costs involved remain problematic in the absence of greater resource availability linked to policy change towards the realisation of these solutions. The indirect value associated with social benefits of local renewable systems needs to be accounted for.