Scotland’s ire at the U.K. government over renewable energy funding appears to be waning. Funny what £100 million ($158 million) will do.
You might remember the fiery claim by the industry group Scottish Renewables that excessive grid-connection charges from the U.K. Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets could threaten the sector’s growth. “Scotland’s wave and tidal sector face charges of £56 million every year to connect their projects to the grid while developers south of the border would receive millions in subsidy,” roared the group’s chief executive, Niall Stuart.
But now that the U.K. Treasury has announced it is releasing around £100 million of additional funding for renewable energy development in Scotland, including marine power, everything seems to be cool.
“This is a clear signal to the industry, to investors, and to the public that the government is committed to helping Scotland build a world-leading sector; one that creates jobs and opportunities for local communities across the country, as well as helps tackle climate change and cuts carbon emissions,” Stuart said.
The money comes from the U.K.’s “fossil fuel levy,” a tax on suppliers of power that comes from nonrenewable sources. Scotland’s portion of the fund, held in London, had reached “around” £200 million, the U.K. Treasury said. While half of that is being made available to Scotland, the other half will go toward capitalization of the £3 billion U.K.-wide Green Investment Bank (GIB), the Treasury said, noting that Scotland “will benefit significantly” from GIB spending.
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