Friday, 18 November 2011

£100m boost for green energy plans
13 Nov 2011

An extra £100 million will be made available to support green energy projects in Scotland after a deal was stuck between Holyrood and Westminster. Chancellor George Osborne announced the Scottish Government would be able to spend half of the cash in the fossil fuel levy fund. The fund, currently worth about £200 million, is held in London but can only be spent to promote the use of energy from renewable sources in Scotland.

SNP ministers have made repeated calls to be allowed to access the funding pot-which is made up with cash from suppliers of non-renewable energy sources. Mr Osborne revealed an agreement had been reached with the SNP administration that would allow them to spend half the cash in the fund. The other half of the money will be made available to support the capitalisation of the £3 billion UK-wide Green Investment Bank. Holyrood Finance Secretary John Swinney said the announcement, "though long overdue, is welcome nonetheless".

He added: "For too long Scotland's money has been sitting unspent in an Ofgem account in London. "We have consistently pressed the UK Government to deliver a pragmatic solution that accelerates the release of funding for renewable energy projects that are ready to go now in Scotland. "The proposal we put to the UK Government has at last broken this logjam and made over £100 million additional funding available now-vital funding to support further renewables investment and make the Green Investment Bank a reality for ongoing support". In the future, as further money becomes available via the fossil fuel levy fund, this will be split equally between the two governments.