Scotland launches £60m business fund for low-carbon innovations
Businesses in Scotland can now access a £60m fund to scale projects that can help deliver the nation's low-carbon heat, energy and vehicle solutions.
An update to the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP), which is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), was launched today by Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham.
The fund enables businesses to apply for up to £100,000 to develop investment-ready business cases, or apply for financial support of up to 50% of a project’s total value for a maximum of £10m per project. The fund will specifically target projects that support the aims of Scotland’s Energy Strategy.
Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “We have, first and foremost, a moral obligation to fight climate change. But for a nation with Scotland’s resources and skills, the transition to a more prosperous, low carbon and circular economy also presents a valuable economic opportunity.
“We are determined to attract, retain and develop the low carbon innovators who will shape our future. That is why, I am delighted to confirm that we are now accepting applications from innovative local energy projects to the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme.”
The LCITP programme has already supported 16 low-carbon projects, backing them with more than £40m in collective funding. Successfully-backed projects range from pioneering district heat networks to a battery storage project.
Projects applicable for the new fund must be based in Scotland and be able to be fully operational by September 2021. The fund will focus on low-carbon heat, energy and vehicle projects.
Commenting on the announcement, WWF Scotland’s acting director Dr Sam Gardner said: “It will be hugely exciting to see what new technology and low carbon solutions will be developed in Scotland thanks to this new fund. Innovation in heating, transport and electricity will help us cut emissions, create new jobs and build new industry.
“We know there will be challenges in implementing the transition to a low-carbon economy, but we should grasp the opportunity to build solutions for the rest of the world to adopt.”
Scotland’s Energy Strategy outlines out a 2050 vision for Scotland to have a “modern, integrated” energy system based on low-carbon sources. It includes a target to deliver 50% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030.
It is hoped the new fund will improve of the proportion of renewable sources in Scotland’s energy consumption of the heat and transport sectors, which fall well short of the new target and currently stand at 6% and 4% respectively.