Scotland’s Green Bond

Scottish Renewables recently announced its blueprint for the 2015 UK General Election and included within was a proposal for a “Green Bond” which would allow the public to invest in renewable energy technology.

They claim that a decent return on their investment could be offered via the bond and that the funds raised would provide the industry with necessary investment in infrastructure.

Scottish Renewables also proposed that the Green Investment Bank, based in Edinburgh, would be the perfect partner to manage the project. They also stated that although there are currently specialist investment funds of this type available via the stock market the green bond scheme would be open to all investors.

Scottish Renewables chief executive Niall Stuart said: “It’s time to give every saver in Britain the opportunity to invest in, and to benefit from, the continued growth of the green energy sector.

“The UK needs to invest tens of billions of pounds in the energy sector over coming years – firstly just to keep the lights on and secondly to continue the move away from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy.

“New power generation, transmission lines and renewable heat projects all require big capital investment up front, but could offer savers a decent return on their money over the life of the project, certainly beating the record low interest rates on savings accounts today.”

Also in its election manifesto Scottish Renewables set out priorities for the renewable energy industry within the next period of parliament. This includes consistently reducing climate change emissions from the energy sector, focusing more on renewable heat and transport and an energy summit with representatives from the government, industry, and other associated bodies to be held every three years.

We at ILI Energy are all for investment in renewable energy technology and green bond is great way of offering investors the chance to benefit whilst at the same time promoting renewable energy generation. This benefits all; the industry receives much needed research and development funds, investors benefit with returns, costs are driven down to the benefit of consumers and everybody reduces their reliance on fossil fuels.

Sticking with Scotland and the organisers of this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow have announced that recycling drive which took place during the games has set a new benchmark for delivering major events in a sustainable way.

86% of rubbish was diverted from landfill during the event, eclipsing the target of 80%, due to the cleaning and waste programme devised by the organisers and according to the final report a number of key achievements were attained including recycling 49% of all waste generated during the Games. This included 60 tonnes of food waste which went to compost due to the separation of food waste at the different Games venues.

David Grevemberg, Glasgow 2014 chief executive, said: “Glasgow 2014 has to thank our athletes, Games partners and Games family, spectators, our volunteers and absolutely everyone who played a part in helping us achieve such a great performance in delivering a sustainable Commonwealth Games.

“In doing so, we have met targets and also set a new gold standard in delivering major events in Scotland in a sustainable way. Sustainability was at the core of all our decisions and not an added extra or bolted on strategy and it was our aim to contribute to making positive and lasting changes in the way we use natural and human resources to improve quality of life for all; now and in the future.”

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead added: “I was particularly impressed by the recycling ambassadors who volunteered to help people sort their waste, and I am sure innovative measures such as these made a real and positive contribution to what was achieved. I now look forward to seeing how we can build on this valuable experience to help make other major events in Scotland as green as possible.”

The Games organisers worked closely with advisors from Zero Waste Scotland and were awarded for their efforts with the ISO 20121, the gold international standard in sustainable event management.

Finally there was more good news for Scotland as October was a “bumper month” for renewable energy in Scotland, with wind power alone producing more than enough electricity to meet the needs of every home in the country.

Wind turbines generated an estimated 982,842 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity last month with WWF Scotland stating this was enough to power 3,045,000 homes, the equivalent of 126% of the electricity needs of every home in Scotland.

WWF Scotland analysed figures from the WeatherEnergy organisation, looking at the estimated amount of power produced by the wind and the sun in Scotland.

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said:” While nuclear power plants were being forced to shut because of cracks, Scotland’s wind and sunshine were quietly and cleanly helping to keep the lights on in homes across the country.

“With wind power generating enough electricity to power 126% of the needs of every home in Scotland, it really was a bumper month for renewables in Scotland.

”The science is clear, if we are to prevent the worst impacts of global climate change, then the world needs to move away from fossil fuels. The good news is that here in Scotland we’re making good use of wind power to create clean electricity.”

We have spoken before of the renewable energy resources we have in Scotland and now we are seeing what can be accomplished by harnessing some of this power. However more can be achieved and with a green bond scheme in place, we can push on with technology and aim to power all of our homes and businesses with renewable energy as well as sell any surplus to our neighbours. In the past this may have been regarded as a pipe dream but now we have shown that it is an attainable reality.

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