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Scottish spending review includes renewable energy funding

Scotland's draft budget and spending review includes provisions for developing the low-carbon economy, including renewable energy.

By Kari Williamson

The review, announced by Finance Secretary John Swinney, includes overall energy related spending of £300 million, as well as £327m to tackle fuel poverty and home energy efficiency.

There is also money to help communities benefit from renewable energy and develop district heating schemes, and investment in infrastructure and Scottish Government buildings to make them greener.

Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing says: "Scotland has an opportunity to secure further investment and jobs from the growing low-carbon sector and ensure the benefits of this transformational change are shared across the economy and our communities.”

He adds: "Energy and resource efficiency will be a priority - assisting people and businesses to use less energy will help to save them money and be vital in tackling fuel poverty."

The Transition to a Low Carbon Economy chapter of the spending review outlines that over the next three years the Scottish Government will, amongst other things:

  • Transform the scale of community ownership of renewable energy developments, by enhancing the Community Renewable Energy Scheme to aim to reach a target of 500 MW of community and locally-owned renewable energy by 2020;
  • Enhance its commitment to energy efficiency;
  • Use the Scottish Futures Fund to provide additional support for emissions reduction measures;
  • Expand Scotland's woodland;
  • Enhance its commitment to district heating;
  • Deliver energy savings in school estates;
  • Improve the efficiency of existing infrastructure;
  • Reduce waste and using materials more efficiently.

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