Earlier this month the Scottish Government announced the launch of a new green investment programme and invited submissions for projects to be part of the “Green New Deal”.
Supported by partners including Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Futures Trust, UK Department for International Trade, Scottish Renewables and the Scottish Property Federation, the formal call for projects forms part of the Scottish Government’s “Green New Deal” aimed at ensuring Scotland reaches net zero carbon emissions by 2045.
Councils, developers and a range of other organisations have been invited to pitch for large-scale investment to support sustainable projects. This Green New Deal Investment Portfolio is estimated to be worth £3 billion over a three-year period with the first round of projects (focused it is thought mainly on renewables, waste and transport) expected to be launched in spring 2020.
Scotland has been leading the UK in generating energy from renewable sources. So far in 2019, wind farms in Scotland produced enough energy to power 4.47 million homes, promising the potential to become an exporter of renewable energy. Scotland is of course fortunate enough to have abundant natural resources ideal for renewable generation: 25% of Europe’s entire offshore wind power resources, 25% of Europe’s tidal energy resources and 10% wave potential.
Shoosmiths is currently advising on three greenfield subsidy-free onshore wind farms in Scotland and is advising on refinancing several renewable energy projects. The firm also has a strong background of local authority advisory roles on waste management and energy from waste projects.
Barry McKeown, who is based in Shoosmiths Glasgow hub and has expertise in commercial and residential development and investment markets as well as renewable energy, commented:
“Investment in renewable energy north of the border has increased and renewable energy markets offer a huge economic opportunity for Scotland. We know that the market for green finance is burgeoning, so any initiative that leverages the power of public and private sector investment in these green projects is to be welcomed.”
Currently the renewables industry contributes £5.9 billion to Scotland’s economy and employs more than 21,400 people. As of June 2019, Scotland boasted 1.6 GW renewable energy generation. The world’s first floating windfarm (Hywind Scotland) and MeyGen, the world’s first large scale tidal array, are both located in Scottish waters.
Nick Iliff, joint head of Shoosmiths infrastructure & energy sector, comments:
“This call for projects demonstrates Scotland’s ambition and determination to lead the way across the UK in promoting and delivering low carbon projects. The benefits to be gained from green projects include the potential to generate higher cash flows and the public-private partnership approach reduces systemic risk for investors. Shoosmiths is particularly well-placed to support businesses looking to take advantage of the opportunities available. We hope that the market responds positively with applications for support.”