A new Scottish Innovation Fund has been set up to provide £60 million to accelerate the country’s environmental ambitions.
By 2020, the funds will have been provided to hasten innovation and development in low carbon technologies and digital projects aimed at strengthening Scotland’s environmental outlook.
The technologies earmarked for innovation around low carbon energy infrastructure include battery storage systems, sustainable heating and electric vehicle charging.
The current outlook is promising, as Scotland have set an ambitious target of ending the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles in the country by 2032, 8 years earlier than the rest of the UK.
Scotland also has plans to expand the current electric vehicle charging network and creating the country’s first electric-enabled highway.
Solutions will also be sought through business and education institutions, with funds provided to investigate current and future environmental challenges such as vehicle charging points in highly urbanised areas.
Home of Great Innovation
During the announcement in Glasgow, Nicola Sturgeon stated:
“For centuries, Scotland has been home to many great inventions and I want this technological innovation to be renewed for the future.”
“I want us to be world leaders in developing new low carbon energy technologies and embrace social changes that will reduce our emissions.”
“We have set out a bold new ambition on ultra-low emission vehicles, including electric cars and vans, with a target to phase out the need for petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032, underpinned by a range of actions to expand the charging network, support innovative approaches and encourage the public sector to lead the way.”
“Earlier this year I visited Tesla in Silicon Valley to discuss the importance of energy storage technology to Scotland’s wider energy strategy. That visit was an inspiration.”
“We’re witnessing rapid technological change and the many companies focussing their efforts on this sector are making extraordinary advances. I want to see Scotland play its full part in this age of innovation.”
Low Emission Cities
In addition, Rosanna Cunningham, Environment Secretary said:
“As well as pushing ahead with the decarbonisation of road transport, we have also announced plans to introduce Low Emission Zones into Scotland’s four biggest cities between 2018 and 2020 – improving air quality and making our city centres a more desirable place to live, work and visit.”
“Scotland has made good progress in tackling air pollution, but there are still areas of our towns and cities where levels are too high. We want to develop a sustainable future for younger generations.”
“Taken together, these measures along with our plans to build an Active Nation by investing record sums in walking and cycling, represent a step change in our levels of ambition and it is heartening to see this being described as Scotland’s boldest and greenest Programme for Government.”