Scottish Government Awards £2.6M to Green Energy Projects

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By Ben Myers

Scotland’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP) is awarding £2.6m to 12 local green energy projects.

Callander, Stromness, Aviemore, St. Andrews and Glencoe are among the cities with projects receiving a portion of the award.

“The Scottish Government has set some of the most ambitious carbon reduction targets on the planet – exceeding the requirements of the Paris agreement – and is making excellent progress towards meeting them,” said Paul Wheelhouse, minister for business, innovation and energy. “We have also set our sights on eradicating fuel poverty – which is an unacceptable blight on too many households in Scotland in 2017 – as energy prices have risen steadily, at a time when wages have been depressed due to a weak UK economy and austerity.”

Wheelhouse added that the projects will create and sustain jobs, which will “bolster local economies.”

The announcement is welcome news for energy initiative advocates like Mellissa Riddle. The schemes will include a project in Glencoe Village, energy efficient comes for the elderly in North Lanarkshire, and a low carbon heat provision at the Ayr campus of the University of the West of Scotland.

Ten projects received £550,000 to create Investment Grade Business Cases. The awarded amount will be matched by project partners.

Two of the projects received £1.95 million in capital support.

“A transformation in how we heat our homes and offices, how we travel to work and school, and how we power our industries will generate many social and economic benefits,” said Dr. Sam Gardner, WWF Scotland’s acting director.

In late November, the national forest estate installed more than 1 GW of renewable energy that will generate enough electricity to power 500,000 homes each year.

The increased renewable energy generation will help the country meet its goal of supplying 100% of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

Forest Enterprise Scotland receives approximately £11 million each year by leasing out land for energy projects. The income is reinvested into a variety of forestry programs.

The 136 MW Harestone windfarm generates about 212,000 MWh of electricity every year. About £300,000 goes into a community benefit for the people of Nithsdale and Annandale. The farm has also created about 11 kilometres of new trails through the forest, which the public is free to use for recreation.

An additional 80 MW of capacity is currently being built, and another 330 MW of renewable capacity is still awaiting construction. The planning system has yet to approve 250 MW of capacity.

“Scotland’s national forest estate is ideally placed to help the Scottish Government meet its renewable energy targets and deliver for communities at the same time,” said Fergus Ewing, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity. “All renewable energy projects on the national forest estate will continue to be developed sensitively through the open planning process with full consultation with the public.”

While Scotland is taking major steps towards a full transition to renewable energy, the country still receives 20 times less grant funding than Wales and England, according to a new study. Private grant funds amount to about £1 per head in Scotland compared to about £2 per head in Wales and England.



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