Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing yesterday unveiled plans for a new £103 million investment fund for renewable energy raised from the region’s Fossil Fuel Levy.
The Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) will initially be focused on helping communities and rural businesses develop renewable projects, support district heating initiatives and help at the early stages of the development and deployment of wave and tidal arrays.
The fund will complement that of the Green Investment Bank (GIB), which aims to help renewable projects at a “near commercial” stage, and bridge the funding gap – particularly for marine energy.
The investment, which comes in addition to the £200 million already committed by the Scottish Government over the next three years, also aims to leverage additional financing from other sources.
While the REIF is being set up, Ewing has promised an extra £2 million for community renewables schemes over the current year through the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES).
“This £103 million Renewable Energy Investment Fund will allow communities all over Scotland to reap the benefits of our green energy revolution,” said Ewing in the announcement yesterday. “The fund will not replicate existing grant and loan support. Instead, it will focus on investment by offering new and innovative instruments which complement existing funding routes.”
He said that the fund answered calls for more funding for marine technologies, as well as other renewable technologies.
The move has been welcomed by WWF Scotland, particularly the additional support for marine renewables and district heating, which the organisation says need to grow quickly in coming years.
“Using cash raised from polluting power production to support the development of clean, green energy solutions is exactly the right thing for governments to be doing,” commented director Richard Dixon.
For further information:
UK wave and tidal energy “on cusp” of commercialisation, says report (16-Mar)
Vattenfall to test Pelamis ‘sea snake’ at Scottish test centre (16-Mar)
Tidal Generation’s prototype turbine exceeds 200 MWh milestone (13-Mar)
Scotland welcomes £1 billion renewables investment (9-Mar)
23 March 2012