Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) has supported a raft of decentralised energy measures through a £20 million Green Economy Fund.
The fund was established by the distribution network operator (DNO) earlier this year to support Scottish Government climate targets, and £6 million in funding has today been awarded to more than a dozen clean initiatives.
Electric vehicles have taken a front seat in the initial tranche of project funding, with several involving either the adoption of electric vehicles or associated infrastructure.
Of particular interest to the EV community will be the funded development of a mobile app dubbed ‘WattsUp’, an EV route planner and charger assistant that can guide drivers to their nearest charging point. The Green Economy Fund is to support the collation of data from all of Scotland’s network operators and help provide drivers with real-time data on available charging bays.
Meanwhile, funding has also been reserved to develop a new model for localised, community-led energy networks, which is to help finance a pilot scheme in the small villages Ettrick and Yarrow, in Scotland’s Borders area, intending to connect locally generated renewables with EV charge points, public transport and storage heating in public facilities.
Frank Mitchell, chief executive at SPEN, praised the “innovative and inspiring work” being carried out within Scotland’s green economy, adding that the DNO’s Green Economy Fund offered them the financial boost needed to “make great ideas a reality”.
“The Scottish government has an ambitious plan to reduce carbon emissions and to grow Scotland’s use of electric vehicles and SP Energy Networks is ready to help deliver that plan. We want to promote the uptake of electric vehicles and the development of the infrastructure required; we want to help with the provision of affordable low carbon heating to address fuel poverty and we want to encourage low carbon job creation.
“But the Green Economy Fund isn’t just about individual green projects; it is about creating and accelerating a green economy for Scotland – to deliver a better future, quicker. The projects that have been helped with this first round of SP Energy Networks’ funding will help to do that; to make Scotland a cleaner, greener place for generations to come.”
The Green Economy Fund is to run for two years, supporting communities within SPEN’s networked area.