This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Environment


Concern over support cuts for community renewables


Lynne Whitelaw Environment Correspondent


Te move away from grant funding of renewable energy projects toward a system of financial incentives paid after the project is up and running is likely to make it more difficult for communities to find the upfront costs to finance developments, two community energy experts have told Holyrood. Former Green MSP Mark Ruskell and Community Energy Scotland chief executive Nicholas Gubbins said that cuts to grant schemes that were available from both the UK and Scottish Governments are likely to put communities off. Ruskell, who is now business development manager at Green Energy Net, a newly launched information exchange for those interested in renewable energy, said that while it was still early days and there were also financial incentives such as the


Feed-In Tariff being introduced, there are questions about how to fund projects in their initial stages. He said: “You’ve got to find the upfront capital costs and I think that can be an issue for communities who then have to seek commercial funding for projects. Projects need to be bankable, they need to be watertight in terms of how the project’s developed, there are risks that are involved in any project that are assessed in order to secure loan funding, so there is a need to get rid of some of the risk in the development process.” Gubbins added: “If a small


voluntary community group can’t raise the capital to start with because it may not be able to take out loans or it may not be confident to do so, then they’re not going to be taking forward a project. Our concern is the move to revenue payments risks losing a large number of groups out of the picture because they simply can’t raise a loan or don’t have the confidence to take out a loan. “It’s going to require a different approach.” Community Energy Scotland is now looking at a number of options in an effort to tackle the absence of grants. “For example, we’re now actively looking at whether we can provide a financing solution which removes those risks from a community group but still enables them to generate some income or to meet their building requirements, so we’re trying to pin down some support to effectively fill that gap that’s now arisen,” Gubbins explained.


Full story see page 52


IN BRIEF SCOTLAND


Salmond backs trams inquiry Calls for a public inquiry into the handling of the Edinburgh trams project have received the endorsement of First Minister Alex Salmond. Recent figures revealed it would cost £750m to scrap the scheme, the original budget of which was £545m. It is now estimated that the total cost of completing a truncated version of the original plan could reach £1.4bn.


Swinney urges union patience Finance Secretary John Swinney has said public sector unions have no case for strike action over pension reforms as talks over the issue are still ongoing. Hundreds of thousands of civil servants across the UK will take action on 30 June over Treasury plans to increase worker payments. While Swinney opposes the plans, he said strike action would merely damage services.


Salmond: Scotland deserves 2012 boost Scotland should have been given its share of regeneration funding from the London 2012 Olympics, First Minister Alex Salmond has claimed. While it is understandable that London receives significant investment to prepare for the games, a proportional share of funding should have been awarded to other parts of the UK using the Barnett formula, he added.


Enthusiastic journalist wanted to join Holyrood magazine’s award winning editorial team. Must have a keen interest in politics.


Please send a covering letter and c.v to Mandy Rhodes, Editor, Holyrood magazine, 14-16 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AF


or mandy@holyrood.com. Closing date for applications 18th July 2011


27 June 2011 Holyrood 13


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80