Low-carbon infrastructure projects to share £43m direct investment

Nicola Sturgeon announces Low Carbon Infrastructure Investment Funding for 13 projects including Water Source Heat Pump in the Gorbals at All-Energy eventDetails of how more than £43 million is being invested in low-carbon infrastructure were announced today by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Shared across 13 projects throughout Scotland, this investment represents one of the largest direct energy investments in the last 10 years. The funding, awarded by the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP), will be matched by a minimum of £43m from private and public sector partners.

Projects include an innovative local energy system on Fair Isle, an energy storage project in Shetland, low-carbon heat networks in Dundee, Stirling, Clydebank and Glenrothes and the installation of a heat pump on the River Clyde to serve the Gorbals area.

The full list of projects is available on the LCITP website.

Speaking at the All Energy Conference in Glasgow, the First Minister said: “These projects have great potential to help us tackle climate change, and remain at the forefront of low carbon and renewable innovation. They will also bring economic benefits – in terms of savings and jobs – to local areas across the country.

“Scotland has some of the most ambitious emissions reduction targets in the world. Over the past 10 years, our pattern of energy consumption has changed considerably, helping us to meet – and exceed – our 2020 target for reducing energy consumption, six years early.

“We are determined to build on this success, and we are now seeking views on a new target through our draft Energy Strategy – for 50% of our energy consumption – spanning heat, transport and electricity – to be met by renewables by 2030.

“With Scotland’s world-leading expertise in renewables, which employs at least 11,000 people, and a growing workforce of at least 58,000 in the low carbon sector, I am confident of our future success.”

The Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme is a collaborative partnership led by the Scottish Government, working with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Futures Trust and Resource Efficient Scotland. It focuses on the acceleration of low carbon infrastructure projects across public, private and community sectors, helping them to create investment business cases and secure capital finance from public and private sources. The programme is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

Star Renewable Energy have been awarded funding to develop the UK’s first water source heat pump (WSHP) for medium temperature district heating to service existing buildings. The 2.5MW water source heat pump on the Clyde at the Gorbals will be deployed by September 2018 and will be Britain’s largest inner city 80 degrees Celsius heat pump.

Dave Pearson, director at Star Renewable Energy, added: “Star has been trying to replicate the success of its river heat pump in Norway for some time but has struggled to progress a similar example in Scotland.

“The support provided by the Scottish Government through the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme has recognised both the technical and commercial potential of our project in Glasgow’s Gorbals.

“The programme is providing excellent support in placing a high temperature river heat pump – the largest in the UK – at the Clyde to supply clean, low carbon heat to buildings in the Gorbals, helping us to collectively work to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in Scotland.”

Stephanie Clark, policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “Renewable energy is already bringing economic and environmental benefits to Scotland

“Investments like this – which will be matched by a minimum of £43 million from private and public sector partners – will help secure the vital decarbonisation of our energy system.

“It is particularly pleasing to see renewable heat technologies being provided with support. With already-stretching targets – and an ambition to do much more – it is crucial that we work harder to cut the amount of carbon emitted by our demand for heat, which makes up more than half of the energy we use in Scotland.”

During the conference the First Minister also reaffirmed the Scottish Government’s target that 50% of all Scotland’s energy should be from renewables by 2030.

Reacting to the confirmation, Dr Sam Gardner, acting director of WWF Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to hear the First Minister reaffirm her Government’s commitment to meeting half of Scotland’s energy needs from renewable sources by 2030. Choosing the iconic All Energy Conference to make the announcement sends a strong message to business and industry, both here and globally, that renewables are at the heart of Scotland’s economic policy and that Scotland plans to expand its amazing progress on renewable electricity into the heat and transport sectors.

“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. Research shows that generating half of our energy from renewables by 2030 is both necessary and achievable. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government to make sure that the right policies are in place to deliver on this target, which is supported by all parties in the Scottish Parliament and the public.”

Dr Gardner added: “It’s great to see so many low carbon infrastructure projects receiving funding. These projects, such as energy storage in Shetland and a river heat pump in the Clyde, are a clear signal of the economic opportunities the transition to a zero carbon future offers Scotland. Catalyst funding such as this has an important role to play in trialling and proving new infrastructure, the important next step is for Scotland energy strategy to support their wider deployment and ensure we capture the full economic, social and health benefits that a zero-carbon society offers.”

The consultation on the draft Energy Strategy is open until 30 May.

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