Scotland is aiming to position itself as a low carbon technologies hub by 2020. First minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a £60 million Innovation Fund to support battery storage and other low carbon energy infrastructure.
Announced as part of Scotland’s new Programme for Government, the fund will also be used to support an electric vehicle charging infrastructure, a consequence of Scottish government’s commitment to phasing out diesel and petrol cars by 2032, eight years ahead of the UK’s target.
After highlighting Scotland’s historical pre-eminence as a progenitor of innovation, Sturgeon commented: “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 … underpinned by a range of actions to expand the charging network, support innovative approaches and encourage the public sector to lead the way.”
The new Innovation Fund will also encourage academia and business to find solutions to challenges identified by the Scottish government, such as charging electric vehicles in heavily tenemented towns and cities.
Other measures included in the Programme are an expansion to Scotland’s electric charging infrastructure by 2022; creation of Scotland’s first ‘electric highway’, including charging points along the route; and the publication of a final Energy Strategy by the end of 2017 to support the development of ‘a modern, integrated clean energy system’.