An innovative scheme to generate heat from sewers is among a raft of green initiatives that will share in £43 million of new funding from the Scottish Government.
The money, from the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP), will be shared among 13 projects across Scotland.
It represents one of the largest direct energy investments in the last 10 years and is expected to be matched with at least a further £43 million from the public and private sectors.
Projects that will benefit include a local power system on Fair Isle, an energy storage project in Shetland, the installation of a heat pump on the River Clyde and low-carbon heat networks in Dundee, Stirling, Clydebank and Glenrothes.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the funding during a speech at the All Energy Conference in Glasgow.
“These projects have great potential to help us tackle climate change, and remain at the forefront of low-carbon and renewable innovation,” she said.
“They will also bring economic benefits in terms of savings and jobs to local areas across the country.
“Scotland has some of the most ambitious emissions reduction targets in the world.
“Over the past 10 years, our pattern of energy consumption has changed considerably, helping us to meet – and exceed – our 2020 target for reducing energy consumption six years early.
“We are determined to build on this success.”
Industry leaders and environmentalists have welcomed the funding.
Stephanie Clark, policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “Renewable energy is already bringing economic and environmental benefits to Scotland
“Investments like this – which will be matched by a minimum of £43 million from private and public sector partners – will help secure the vital decarbonisation of our energy system.
“It is particularly pleasing to see renewable heat technologies being provided with support.
“With already-stretching targets, and an ambition to do much more, it is crucial that we work harder to cut the amount of carbon emitted by our demand for heat, which makes up more than half of the energy we use in Scotland.”
“A transformation in how we heat our homes and offices, how we travel to work and school, and how we power our industries will generate many social and economic benefits,” said Dr Sam Gardner, acting director of WWF Scotland.
“Catalyst funding such as this has an important role to play in trialling and proving new infrastructure.
“The important next step is for Scotland’s energy strategy to support their wider deployment and ensure we capture the full economic, social and health benefits that a zero-carbon society offers.”
A district heating network in the Fife town of Glenrothes has been awarded £8.5 million under the scheme.
Robin Presswood, head of economy, planning and employability at Fife Council, said: “We’re delighted to hear the Scottish Government are committing to this investment in Fife.
“Glenrothes Heat could contribute significantly to our ambitious climate change targets and could potentially reduce fuel poverty in Glenrothes households and provide cost savings for businesses.
“We’re looking forward to progressing this innovative low-carbon heat project.”
Scottish firm Star Renewable Energy also received a share of the cash, which will go towards a £3.5 million scheme to supply eco-friendly heat to buildings in the Gorbals using pioneering heat pump technology on the Clyde.
Director Dave Pearson said: “The programme is providing excellent support in placing a high-temperature river heat pump – the largest in the UK – at the Clyde to supply clean, low-carbon heat to buildings in the Gorbals, helping us to collectively work to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in Scotland.”
Canadian-owned firm SHARC Energy Systems was awarded grant support to install waste water heat recovery systems at five locations across Scotland.
The technology works by using a heat pump to amplify the warmth of waste water in sewers – such as from showers, dishwashers and washing machines. It will soon be used to heat Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow, a leisure centre and public library in Campbeltown, a leisure centre in Orkney and a new district heating scheme at the Clyde Gateway regeneration project in Glasgow.
LCITP is a collaborative partnership led by the Scottish Government, working with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Futures Trust and Resource Efficient Scotland. It is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.