A new £15m fund aimed at kick starting the way both transport and heating is powered in Scotland is today being unveiled by SP Energy Networks.
In an industry first SP Energy Networks, responsible for delivering electricity to 3.5 million households in Scotland, England and Wales, will team up with the Scottish Government, Energy Regulator Ofgem and independent academic advisors to fund initiatives focussed on the decarbonisation of the transport and heating in Scotland that can also boost local economic growth.
The Scottish Government has an ambitious energy strategy that leads the UK's drive to a low carbon economy and has pledged to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars completely by 2032 and substantially reduce the emissions from heating. This will ultimately require a transformation in all forms of transport and the traditional heating for homes that will depend on key infrastructure and should also create new jobs and businesses across Scotland.
Frank Mitchell, Chief Executive of SP Energy Networks, pledged that the firm would voluntarily contribute up to £15m over a two-year period to support initiatives that will benefit the people of Scotland and support Scotland's ambitious green energy plans and local economic growth.
He said: “We are proud of the performance of our business, it is leading the way in innovation for our industry and we recognise the importance of what we do every day to support the communities we serve.
“Today we are launching the SP Energy Networks - Green Economy Fund. This is a call out to communities and businesses to come forward with their own ambitious projects that support Scotland’s low carbon future and create jobs in our communities"
The Scottish Government’s Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said:
“This is a very positive announcement by SP Energy Networks which aligns well with our own £60 million Low Carbon Innovation Fund, designed to help deliver the ambitious low carbon transport and heat goals set out in Scotland’s Energy Strategy. I look forward to working with Scottish Power Energy Networks to ensure that, in partnership, we can maximise the impact from our respective initiatives for Scotland.”
Any initiatives seeking shared or full funding will require to demonstrate that they truly have green credentials and are targeted at areas that may ordinarily struggle to access funding. Lessons learned from projects supported by the fund will, in turn, be shared with other communities to ensure others can benefit.
Frank Mitchell concluded: "We will be advertising soon how businesses and communities can apply and I am delighted we have today announced the Green Economy Fund that I know will help boost our local communities energy and economic ambitions.”