Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) will prioritise wave and tidal energy and renewable district heating projects
The Scottish Government has launched a new £103 million renewable energy fund aimed at attracting more private investment in Scottish renewables projects.
The Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) will prioritise wave and tidal energy as well as renewable district heating and projects with a focus on innovative renewable energy technologies.
The fund will be delivered by the Scottish Investment Bank on behalf of the Scottish Government and its enterprise agencies, with the first deals expected to be completed by the end of the financial year.
REIF has been designed to complement other funding options, such as the Green Investment Bank, and is designed to support projects which are significantly advanced but have a demonstrable funding gap.
Scottish Renewables chief executive Niall Stuart said: "This £103 million fund will inject much-needed investment into the development of the next generation of renewable technologies, such as marine energy and renewable heat. This kind of support can be a vital catalyst in attracting even greater levels of private investment.
"Increasing use of renewable heat could make a significant reduction in carbon emissions and in tackling fuel poverty, given that around half of all energy used in Scotland is to heat homes, businesses or industrial processes.
“Scotland is already at the forefront of developing and testing emerging wave and tidal technologies and, with the correct level of government support, we can become a global centre of excellence in both the deployment of these technologies and their accompanying supply chains."
First Minister Alex Salmond added: "We are determined to ensure Scotland is among the world’s key destinations for investment in low carbon technologies, building on our long-established reputation in engineering, innovation and financial services.
“This fund will help leverage further significant private finance into key areas of the renewables sector where specific funding gaps have been identified.
"Alongside other initiatives such as the £18 million Marine Renewables Commercialisation fund, £70 million National Renewables Infrastructure fund and our Community & Renewable Energy (CARES) scheme, the REIF will support a wide range of projects to create jobs, investment and sustainable energy generation in communities across Scotland."
Highlands & Islands Enterprise chief executive Alex Paterson added: "The deployment of the first commercial arrays is critical to the development of the wave and tidal industry.
“REIF has been established to overcome the financial challenges facing the pioneering businesses at the forefront of this developing sector.
“In the Highlands and Islands we are already seeing real benefits from both community involvement in renewables and from the dramatic impacts of the emerging wave and tidal sector in Orkney.
“With the north of Scotland at the centre of the emerging wave and tidal cluster, and communities across rural Scotland active in renewables projects, the REIF fund will be instrumental in placing Scotland at the forefront of the low carbon economy.”