29 Nov 2018
Thirteen of Scotland’s most innovative low-carbon transport and heating projects, from electric buses to water-powered underground heat pumps, were today awarded multi-million pound funding from SP Energy Networks’ £20m Green Economy Fund.
The fund, established earlier this year by the electricity network operator, supports the ambitious green targets of the Scottish Government to boost local economic growth, improve air quality in our cities and deliver a better future, quicker.
Almost £6million has been awarded after the first round of funding applications – including a ground-breaking new partnership with First Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest bus operator, to bring the first large passenger electric buses to Glasgow.
And in a double boost for the city’s green transport systems, the Green Economy Fund will also ensure the city’s only previous electric bus, which was set to stop running because of a lack of funding, will continue to operate on its popular museums route for the next three months.
In Edinburgh, a mini hydro-electric scheme on the Water of Leith at Saughton Park will also receive funding as will an innovative app which tracks electric vehicle charging points.
SP Energy Networks’ CEO Frank Mitchell revealed the successful projects at Glasgow’s Riverside Museum today (Tuesday) and encouraged other green projects to apply for the second round of funding.
Frank Mitchell, Chief Executive of SP Energy Networks, said: “There are many projects, large and small, which are carrying out innovative and inspiring work to expand Scotland’s green economy and accelerate local economic growth. The Green Economy Fund can provide them with the financial boost required to make great ideas a reality.
“The Scottish Government has an ambitious plan to reduce carbon emissions and to grow Scotland’s use of electric vehicles and SP Energy Networks is ready to help deliver that plan. We want to promote the uptake of electric vehicles and the development of the infrastructure required; we want to help with the provision of affordable low carbon heating to address fuel poverty and we want to encourage low carbon job creation.
“But the Green Economy Fund isn’t just about individual green projects; it is about creating and accelerating a green economy for Scotland – to deliver a better future, quicker. The projects that have been helped with this first round of SP Energy Networks’ funding will help to do that; to make Scotland a cleaner, greener place for generations to come.”
Welcoming the project funding, Scottish Government Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, Ivan McKee, said: “Innovation is key in supporting the decarbonisation of heat and transport – and delivering our vision of a whole energy system that works for everyone.
“Securing funding is a crucial first step for many projects, and initiatives such as the Green Economy Fund play a vital role in supporting investment in low carbon technologies. I am particularly pleased to see that the fund will target communities and social groups which may not have had the opportunity to fully engage in the transition to a low carbon economy but that deserve equal access to the benefits it can bring.”
Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director of First Glasgow said: “We are delighted to be working in close partnership with SP Energy Networks to access their Green Economy Fund. The award will allow for the purchase and operation of our first electric vehicles in Glasgow whilst also future proofing our depot for more widespread electric bus operation. I am really looking forward to getting these new vehicles in to service on route M3 and receiving feedback from our customers, our driving team and our engineering colleagues.”
Initiatives supported by the Green Economy Fund include:
SP Energy Networks, which delivers electricity to more than two million customers in Scotland, is working with the Scottish Government and energy regulator Ofgem to fund low-carbon initiatives which support local economic growth. The Green Economy Fund focuses on the communities in which SP Energy Networks operates – central and southern Scotland – and will run for two years.
Applications are invited for the second round of funding. For further information or to apply, please visit www.spenergynetworks.co.uk/gef