Leading the transition to a climate-neutral economy

Key points:

  • A £20 million Energy Investment Fund
  • A £60 million Low Carbon Innovation Fund
  • A Route Map on an Energy Efficient Scotland, that will lead to over £10 billion of activity to retrofit existing homes and buildings throughout all parts of Scotland
  • 50% of Scotland’s energy needs met by renewables by 2030
  • £25m to support innovation in wave and tidal technologies
  • Deliver the Green Investment Portfolio
  • We will formally consult on our vision for the future of local energy systems in Scotland this year.

By 2030 the equivalent of 50% of the energy for Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity consumption is to be supplied from renewable sources, along with a 30% increase in the productivity of energy use across the Scottish economy. That is why we have made energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority and set out our plans for this transformation in the Energy Efficient Scotland Route Map. We estimate this will result in a £10-12 billion programme of public and private sector investment over the next 20 years, with the potential to boost Scottish GDP growth and generate economic opportunity across the whole of Scotland.

As announced in the Programme for Government we will deliver the Scottish Government will identify and bring to market a Green Investment Portfolio of £3 billion of investable projects over the next three years. This will include projects involving renewables, waste, the circular economy and property. It will actively look to expand the investment market into other sectors such as transport, housing and hydrogen.

We will work with partners including Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Scottish National Investment Bank, Scottish Futures Trust and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to make a public call for projects in early 2020. We will also leverage private sector skills and expertise to originate and structure a pipeline of projects and promote it globally.

We have already allocated around £40 million to 16 low carbon capital projects through the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme. To progress our transition to a climate-neutral economy, we are providing support for renewable and local carbon infrastructure through our £20 million Energy Investment Fund and £60 million Low Carbon Innovation Fund.

To maintain Scotland’s positioning as a world leader in wave and tidal energy technologies, our Wave Energy Scotland programme has been designed to drive forward the search for innovative solutions. The programme has already made £25 million available to support 60 innovative projects, maximising the economic benefit of design, manufacturing and export. Our flagship wave and tidal test facility, the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), has over a decade of real-sea experience. We will also continue to support the expansion of offshore wind by providing new guidance to industry on licensing and decommissioning, as well as providing a further £2 million this year to support innovation and to help reduce business costs.

Scotland's wave energy programme is the world's largest and has supported 84 projects worth over £30 million

Electricity & Gas Network businesses in Scotland, and their supply chain, will be key to realising our transition to a climate-neutral economy. We are working with these companies, as well as the wider sector and the regulator, to ensure these future plans are aligned to our vision for the sector.

We will also work with stakeholders to develop a Food and Drink Environmental Action Plan to strengthen the industry’s contribution to tackling climate change. As a first step, we will host a sustainability summit by the end of 2020 to identify priorities for action. This will create impetus for businesses and producers to play their part in responding to our global climate emergency and give them the opportunity to share current good practice.

New homes and buildings are already built with high standards of energy efficiency but we need to take further action.

We will consult this year on setting new building standards to be introduced in 2021, updating the regulatory system by improving energy standards for all new buildings. These new standards will set challenging targets to reduce energy demand, and associated carbon emissions, in new buildings.

Over the next year, we will also begin working with the construction sector to develop regulations so that new homes consented from 2024 are required to use renewable or low carbon heat. This is one year earlier than is planned in the rest of the UK.

Similarly, our ambition is to phase in renewable and low carbon heating systems for new non domestic buildings consented from 2024. We will work with the construction, property and commercial development sectors to identify and support good practice to inform the development of standards on how we can achieve this.

We will show leadership in the public sector, engaging with partners on a new Net Zero Carbon Standard for new public buildings.

We will continue to support the translation into practice of research outputs in this area from our universities and research institutes to ensure our approaches are based on the best available evidence and latest innovations.

Key resources:

Scotland’s Energy Strategy

Scottish Government: Energy

Energy Efficient Scotland: route map

Scottish Enterprise: Funding and Grants

Wave Energy Scotland

European Marine Energy Centre