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Renewable money

A £103m fund to help boost investment in renewable energy has been launched.

First Minister Alex Salmond revealed plans for a Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) at the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference in Edinburgh.

It is hoped the fund will help attract more private investment in technologies such as wave and tidal power.

Mr Salmond also told delegates about an advisory group being set up to support those seeking finance from the UK Green Investment Bank, headquartered in Edinburgh.

Also announced was a £4.3m Scottish Enterprise investment in Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) Renewables's Hunterston offshore wind turbine test facility on the Ayrshire coast.

The REIF is said to complement public and private finance schemes with deals typically involving loans, loan guarantees and equity finance alongside co-investment partners.

It will be delivered by the Scottish Investment Bank on behalf of the Government and the first deals are expected to be complete by the end of this financial year.

Mr Salmond said: "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.

"The planned advisory group will provide expert advice for people who have good ideas and projects to put to the Green Investment Bank but who need a helping hand to make them ready for investment."

Scottish Enterprise chief executive Dr Lena Wilson said: "Scotland is continuing to push ahead in its transition to a low-carbon economy. However, increasing access to finance is fundamental in our overall ambition to meet the target of 100% electricity from renewables sources by 2020."

Mr Salmond also defended policies for onshore wind, saying turbines do not seriously detract from the Scottish scenery.

"I don't think there's any serious evidence that they are incompatible," he told delegates.

"On the contrary, I think one of Scotland's attractions is that we are a green country committed to renewable energy. I think that enhances our appeal as a country."

Onshore wind has been a success and offshore wind will prove to be a greater success, he said.

Proposals to place turbines out at sea have attracted high profile criticism from US businessman Donald Trump, who objects to a development planned within view of his golf course on the Aberdeenshire coast.

Mr Salmond, the constituency MSP for the area covering the course, said he has no role in the planning process.

"I'm very happy that the Scottish Government will judge that application on its merits," he said.

"There's no amount of noise or foot stamping that's going to distract the Scottish Government from discharging its responsibilities properly." [my emphasis. Today's Moderator = TM]

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Reader Comments (41)

Poor old Scotland, a country where the lunatics are running the asylum. This looks like more money poured down the drain (or into the pockets of the scammers and bureaucrats).

Oct 11, 2012 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

You'd never guess that Salmond used to be an oil man...

Oct 11, 2012 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

"one of Scotland's attractions is that we are a green country"

Also white, a fair bit of the time - I wouldn't rely on windmills for heating.

Oct 11, 2012 at 3:38 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

"building on our long-established reputation in engineering". So no more of those foreign wind turbines then?

Oct 11, 2012 at 3:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

So that's £103 million that can be subtracted from Barnett formula money then.

Oct 11, 2012 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy Old Man

Now that everyone is installing "smart" meters in order to inform the consumer about their electricity consumption, and allow demand to be adjusted when supply is low, I think that everyone who buys into this scheme should be required to have smart meters installed, and controls put on to their electricity supply so that when the sun is down, or the wind doesn't blow, they don't have any electricity.

The experience would be quite educational, I think.

Oct 11, 2012 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterrxc

“when the sun is down, or the wind doesn't blow, they don't have any electricity”

I would just connect them to a separate ‘renewable’ grid that doesn’t depend on nasty fossil or nuclear power...

Oct 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Who is briefing Salmond on his energy policy? Surely not just 'voices in his head', but someone or some group that is so persuasive that he has dropped the shutters on further debate in a Gore-like fashion. But while Al makes a fortune out of his hyperbole, Scotland I fear is losing money, and opportunity, hand over fist as resources are diverted into 'renewables'. Simple arithmetic points to their being an albatross around Alba's fair neck as far as the economy goes, and they diminish her beauty further by cluttering up vistas once more fair by far before the folly of the farms took hold. And while weathly greens will retire in due course live off their harvest of subsidies and grants, poor Scotia will have no such option.

Oct 11, 2012 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Speaking of Al Gore:

Here he is 2008, exhorting people to invest "green."

"We can't wait. . . . We have a planetary emergency," the former vice president told industry leaders and scientists at the 2008 conference. "Here are just a few of the investments that I personally think make sense."

Here's Gore in 2012:

His company files a quarterly report with the SEC that tells a different story about the 30 stocks in its portfolio. His company's public investments in wind, solar, biomass and other alternative energy to combat climate change are practically non-existent.

But his portfolio is top-heavy in high-tech, medical instruments, and even more pedestrian investments in companies such as Amazon(AMZN), eBay(EBAY), Colgate Palmolive(CL), Nielsen(NLSN), Strayer University(STRA), and Qualcomm(QCOM).

He is also big in China, with stakes in a big Chinese travel agency, CTrip, and China's largest medical equipment manufacturer, Mindray Medical.

Fat Al is not walking the walk!

Oct 11, 2012 at 4:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterPolitical Junkie

You'd never guess that Salmond used to be an oil man...
As opposed to oily man.
He is high on the list of reasons I left Scotland.

Oct 11, 2012 at 5:08 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Having visited Scotland for the first time last year I can safely say i will not be back. The drive up the M76 is awful with the Southern Uplands covered in wind turbines for mile after mile with still more going up. Then we found that the village where we were staying was dominated by a massive wind farm (Perthshire) and then we found that the Beauly to Denny power line was also being built near by and we saw mile after mile of new pylons going up and roads being built across moorland. I am not that up on Scottish politics but I can only imagine Scots are keen to destroy their own country as they keep backing the SNP each election. What is happening is a crime and I feel sorry for the people who live their who are trying to stop the madness.

Oct 11, 2012 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike

Mike; it's the new Darien Gap scheme. The Scots go mad every 300 years and try to gain independence from the UK by wasting their money. This will be no different.

Oct 11, 2012 at 5:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

Happy birthday to Phillip Bratby. We've all clubbed together and got you a special present - your very own wind turbine. Be careful when you unwrap it. Some of the edges are a bit sharp.

Oct 11, 2012 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDolphinhead

Dolphinhead: Thanks a bunch, it'll cost me a fortune to send the blades to landfill. A water-wheel would be more appropriate, as the river is thundering past, and there hasn't been a breath of wind or a glimpse of the sun for days.

Oct 11, 2012 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"This fund will help leverage further significant private finance".

Is this in some subtle way different from a subsidy?

Oct 11, 2012 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta

Since Scotland's aluminium smelting industry was created due the abundant hydro-electric power available, but has since been largely dismantled, don't you have tons of left over wet electric?

Oct 11, 2012 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta

steveta: as an ex - aluminium industry metallurgist, I can assure you that Scotland's hydro reserves are pretty small:

This 40,000 tonne/year plant should be compared with the ~800,000 tone/year Arvida smelter in Canada.

Oct 11, 2012 at 6:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

"Poor old Scotland, a country where the lunatics are running the asylum."

I feel sorry for my nation, the UK, not Scotland. Scots live in a democracy and choose to vote for the revanchist Alex Salmond. That is their choice and it can't be helped. The lunacy is whom the Scots choose to represent and lead them.

Oct 11, 2012 at 6:09 PM | Registered CommenterHector Pascal

Some interesting points there. Many Scots voted SNP to escape te clutches of Lib-Dem and Labour who at the time were in self destruct mode. Donald Dewar designed the voting system so that no one party could get absolute power. He got it wrong. Look closely at the figures and SNP got in on the Party Vote. The voting slips had 'Salmond for First Minister'.Take Dewar's Party Vote system out of the elections and the SNP would not be in power. Crazy though it may seem the Scots did not vote for Salmond, the system did! Half the smelting industry, Invergordon, was supported by waste energy from Dounreay Nuclear. That is why there is such a good interconnector between Caithness and Beauly which the wind industry is able to use! The few remaining smelters are powered by Hydro. One misunderstanding is that hydro is plentiful whilst in fact it is available for only 30% of the time. Despite the seemingly obvious we don't actually get enough rain in Scotland in the right places. Well not enough of the right sort at the right time. Summer rains are absorbed by the abundant growth and in winter we have long dry periods which don't refill the Lochs. And I would point that it is not the Scots destroying their country. As in the Clearances, it is absentee land owners and foreign adventurers, as were the sheep farmers of old. As to our Politicians, do the Renewables people put something in the water at Holyrood? Salmond actually cares little about green or carbon, but he sees this as a economic fix to provide the income for his vision of an Independent Scotland. That he was an Economist for RBS may explain a lot! As to the Darien adventure, perhaps we should learn from History as should Westminster with Afghanistan. Again we have a false policy driven by one man. Salmond, Blair and Paterson. And to Mike, please come back to Scotland but fly straight to Inverness, I drove down to Oban the otherday and the autumn colours were fantastic. The food was to die for and I never saw a turbine. I met some friends from the south and they were absolutely blown over by the experience. There are many areas of the Highlands still devoid of metal mickies, but come soon before the march of the turbines ruins what is left of the Highland Glens. Glen cannich and Glenaffric are still a wilderness although Munro baggers will no longer be provided with an uncluttered vista. What is more Scotland needs the Tourist pound, dollar, euro or yen because wind will not put food on our tables!

Oct 11, 2012 at 6:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Graham

"Merkel's Blackout"

"German Energy Plan Plagued by Lack of Progress"

Long, in three sections but well worth a read.

"On days when there is a lot of wind, the sun is shining and consumption is low, market prices on the power exchange can sometimes drop to zero. There is even such a thing as negative costs, when, for example, Austrian pumped-storage hydroelectric plants are paid to take the excess electricity from Germany.

The prospects are so poor that energy providers have little interest in building new power plants. Under current conditions, even the most modern and efficient combined steam and gas power plants are not recovering billions in investment costs."

Oct 11, 2012 at 6:39 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

That sound you hear is the giant flush of good taxpayer's money down the great greenie Gaia crapper.

Oct 11, 2012 at 6:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterFred

Thank you John, very nicely put. My first trip to Scotland was in 1969, 17 years old on a 500cc Velocette, camping up the west coast. I had a wonderful time and have loved Scotland ever since. I've made many trips since, driving trucks and later as a geologist. Nothing has changed my opinion of Scotland or the Scots.

Regardless. Salmond and the Nats are intent on destroying my nation, The Union. Beware the Law of Unintended Consequences. I won't forget.

Oct 11, 2012 at 6:48 PM | Registered CommenterHector Pascal

Bishop,your local, Question what is Scotland's current Economic Deficient ?

All that North Sea Oil paying all that Scottish Dole Money.
Then an Independent Scotland they re on their own and they have to make their own separate EU Emissions targets.
No Longer City of London or South East England to bail them out

Independant Scotland gonna be another Greece.

Alex Salmond Nick Clegg, SNP and the Lib Dems

Oct 11, 2012 at 7:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Astonishing. The deeper the hole, the more furiously they dig.

When the day of reckoning comes, stand clear. It will not be pretty.

It still astonishes me that apparently shrewd, calculating politicians should not merely have staked their fates on a blatant, steaming pile of manure but, the more this blindingly obvious fact is pointed out to the, the more they assert the opposite, striding obstinately to their utter ruin.

Seriously, can anyone explain this bizarre inability/refusal to acknowledge such self-evident realities?

Oct 11, 2012 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

King Alex Ist of Scotland will soon be carrying the Scotch begging bowl to Brussels. After waiting in line for Ireland (the first of the sovereign nations to surrender), there will be Latvia and Portugal. Finally, our hero, King Alex Ist of Scotland will be received by Germany&France.

Sorry comes the reply, The Broon took all our alms. You're just another fringe nation. Bugger off.

King Alex Ist initially downcast came up with a bright and original idea! I know, I can blame the English. That will make me popular in Scotaland and Ireland, and move cultural relations back by 200 years. Brilliant!

Oct 11, 2012 at 8:25 PM | Registered CommenterHector Pascal

Once again a politician states "I believe...." (in this case Salmond's assertions about turbines despoiling Scottish scenery) when he should be saying "the SCOTTISH PEOPLE believe...." - which they patently DON'T. Until politicians reflect what the PEOPLE say and want there will never be democracy in the UK.

Oct 11, 2012 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave_G

Scotland has a better chance of gaining independence if only the English vote;

Scotland: Yes 26%. No 46%.
England: Yes 29%. No 40%

Perhaps Salmond's flagship renewables policies are working against him?

Oct 11, 2012 at 8:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

Phillip Bratby - re the confusion about Logan Council in an earlier thread, i've replied to u there, but will post it here too:

the Logan Council in my comment is in South-East Queensland, Australia, not Scotland.

if it is your birthday, have a good one.

Oct 11, 2012 at 11:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Scotland is one of the windiest places on earth, yet cannot make wind power pay without massive subsidies. I did a day trip to Orkney in the mid-90s, where the tour guide pointed to a solitary wind turbine. This, she said had to be turned off once or twice a year when the wind speed exceeded 100mph. It is so windy there, that islands are virtually treeless. A sheltered valley on the middle of mainland has been turned into a copse, so children have the experience of woodland. In my mother's home town of Wick, the rain is usually horizontal. The fresh air can literally bowl you over!

Oct 11, 2012 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

if u don't have time to listen to it all, start around 15 mins to hear the enron/BP involvement in CAGW:

Tele: Radio Free Delingpole XXII: Fighting Windmills this week's episode the special guest is Chris Horner, fellow of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of The Liberal War on Transparency...

Oct 12, 2012 at 12:51 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Come on Guys and Gals. Us Scots are more than a wee bit cannier than you give us credit for!
First point, Aex S is a very accomplished politician.
That he's thrown his shirt into the renewable ring only proves that he is an opportunist.
That he's swallowed the fantasy of the green pixie dust that passes for serious political thinking just reinforces the previous point.
Given that he publically desires a mere 100% of Scottish Energy to come from renewables rather than the 110% demanded by the X-factor generation clearly displays that his tongue is out of phase with his tonsils!
He's what? Fifty something and a bright star in a dim galaxy of UK worthies. Made brighter given the recent exodus of Ms Goldie.
Yup, he's a rogue methinks but he's our rogue and like all rogues he'd be horrified, albeit much rewarded, if we totally swallowed his pretend propoganda!
Even rogues have a modicum of self-respect.
Alex has that in trumps but his aspirations and ego overwhelm his better nature.
And yet, I still like the guy!

Oct 12, 2012 at 3:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Phillip, don't look a gift turbine in the flow. Stick it in the water and set a net for the automatic sushi downstream.

Oct 12, 2012 at 4:28 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

"Renewable money" that's "Quantitative Easing" isn't it? ;)

Oct 12, 2012 at 6:14 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

@Hector pascal. Completely off topic but 3 weeks ago I went to a classic bike rally near Montauban S/W France on a Meriden Trident Special with a mate on a Thruxton Venom, despite his demand for a 110 kph average speed he could'nt keep up climbing the hills, was it the same viz the Scottish highlands back in '69? :-)

Oct 12, 2012 at 6:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Leon

Just posted this on unthreaded perhaps it would have been better here

Ask Nicola Sturgeon (SNP deputy leader) a question courtesy of the BBC

Oct 12, 2012 at 7:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Hector Pascal

Technically he is King Alexander IV.

Oct 12, 2012 at 7:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

What will bring the Scots to their senses will be the power cuts when the English grid can't take the wind surges.

That'll be about 2014.

Oct 12, 2012 at 8:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlecM

"Mr Salmond also defended policies for onshore wind, saying turbines do not seriously detract from the Scottish scenery." Has he asked the Scots tourism promoters about this?

Oct 12, 2012 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

You are all assuming that by asking and getting an Independence Referendum that Alex wants a Yes vote. Sadly he is so clever it would suit him to have a No vote, he gets to tell the SNP faithful he delivered the referendum but then carries on his tactics to screw the South East for all their spare cash and some more.

Oct 12, 2012 at 10:55 AM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

If Scotland gets independence, I can guarantee we'll be back with our begging bowls - and it won't take 200 years.

Oct 12, 2012 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterHuhneToTheSlammer

More cake and eat it ramblings from SA.

Oct 12, 2012 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterBreath of fresh air

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