Scottish clean energy generators and Scottish energy consumers are the focus of announcements being made today by UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey in a keynote address to the Low Carbon Investment Conference in Edinburgh.
He will announce:
- a steering group to look into the concerns of the Scottish Islands on the speed of progress of renewable projects;
- £20 million funding for Carbon Capture and Storage R&D to benefit Scottish businesses;
- a £5 million competition for the most innovative local authority or third sector collective purchasing/switching initiatives.
Scottish Island renewables steering group
A new steering group is to be set up to look into concerns about the speed of progress of renewable projects on the Scottish Islands.
Announced today by Edward Davey, and in conjunction with the Scottish Government, the group will inform a study of the issues that are slowing the speed of marine and wind development on the Scottish Islands.
Mr Davey said:
The Scottish Islands are blessed with tremendous tidal, wind and wave renewable resources and we should look to fully utilise this huge potential where we can.
I recognise there are concerns about the speed of progress of renewable projects on the Islands. That is why I am today commissioning, in conjunction with the Scottish Government, a new Steering Group that will inform a new independent study on Scottish Island Renewable Generation.
This study will assess the commercial viability of renewable projects on the Scottish Islands and the overall value for money these projects provide for the UK.
have been very impressed with the wind and marine developments I’ve seen this week during my visits to Shetland and Orkney and it is important everything is being done to speed up progress where possible.
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said:
I am delighted that Mr Davey and the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have agreed to work with us to find a solution to the problem of high transmission charging for the Scottish Islands.
DECC will work jointly with Scottish Government, HIE and the Island Councils in a cross-Government action group to identify and assess options for addressing or mitigating the impact of the charges faced by renewable energy generators in the Scottish Islands.
We will continue to work with the current industry-led panel on charging, which may deliver some reductions in the scale of charges faced by both mainland and island generators in Scotland.
But we must not wait for it to conclude before examining the other options open to UK and Scottish Ministers, and our local authority and enterprise agency partners to offset the impact of high charges to our islands. By looking at all the options available across governments and our agencies now, we can help prevent adding to delays and uncertainty which have been created.
This will group is a tangible and positive demonstration of the good working relationships between national and local governments, and a reaffirmation of our commitment to do our best for the islands, working towards our joint ambitions for the future development of renewable energy”.
The first meeting of the group is planned for the first week of November.
£20 million funding for carbon capture and storage (CCS) R and D
Mr Davey will today launch a £20 million R&D project to help develop carbon capture and storage, involving Howden and Doosan Power Systems based in Scotland.
The money is being invested by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) to fund a 5MW carbon capture demonstration plant capable of capturing up to 95% of carbon dioxide emissions that will be designed, built and tested by 2016.
The technology will be designed for new-build or to retrofit Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power stations. The consortium developing the technology includes Howden Global and Doosan Power Systems CCS Centre of Excellence both based in Renfrew; MAST Carbon based in Basingstoke; and Inventys, based in British Columbia, Canada.
Mr Davey said:
CCS is a key part of our aim to reduce carbon emissions from gas and coal in our future energy mix. The UK is a leading nation in developing this new technology and the project announced today is another important step to our goal of a cost competitive CCS industry.
CCS is a prime opportunity for UK manufacturing and I am delighted to see Scottish based companies like Howden and Doosan Power Systems, as well as MAST Carbon based in Basingstoke, seizing the opportunity to create jobs for skilled workers and growth for the economy.
Howden will manufacture the large rotating devices in which the carbon adsorbents will be housed; Inventys will provide technical input which will incorporate the design of its VeloxoTherm™ capture process and system; Doosan Power Systems will provide expertise in the area of engineering design, system integration and assessing the commercial value of developing such technology; MAST will provide the expertise in manufacturing the carbon adsorbent material; and ETI member Rolls-Royce, will be providing specialist engineering support for the project.
Collective purchasing/switching competition
Collective purchasing/switching is an innovative way for consumers to group together, through a trusted third party, and use market power to negotiate lower energy bills. The Energy Secretary is seeking a step change in the number and scale of collective purchasing/switching schemes by launching £5million competition for the most innovative local authority or third sector initiatives. He will confirm today that this competition is open to projects in Scotland.
Mr Davey said:
With energy bills on the rise I am more convinced than ever that collective purchasing and switching can play a big role in helping households in Scotland get a better deal for their gas and electricity. That is why I am challenging local authorities and third sector organisations to come up with new collective purchasing initiatives, and why the Government is putting up £5m in funding to help get these get off the ground across Great Britain. I particularly want to see schemes focussed on using collective purchasing to help the most vulnerable households.
Full details of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s £5m competition for the most innovative local authority or third sector schemes collective purchasing and switching scheme will be available later this Autumn including criteria on which bids will be judged and the timetable for awarding the funds.