The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) publishes today an analysis of the innovative ways Scottish Councils – urban and rural – are seeking to develop strategies and policies to drive renewable energy projects forward and deliver low carbon, non nuclear energy for Scotland.
The NFLA Policy Briefing (1) provides a snapshot of some of the work being done by six Scottish local authorities on climate and energy. Some of the work is being done through the European Union (EU) Covenant of Mayors, and some is being done to meet the commitment under the Scottish Climate Change Act to produce a Carbon Management Plan. Five of the six Councils directly mentioned in this report are NFLA Scotland members – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife, Western Isles and the Shetland Isles Councils.
The EU has recently agreed new targets for 2030 which seek reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 (from 1990 levels). They also seek an increase in the share of renewable energy to at least 27% by 2030, with an indicative target of an improvement in energy efficiency of 27%. One way in which these national plans can be translated into local action is through the EU Covenant of Mayors targets for signatories to exceed a 20% CO2 reduction by 2020. (2) In order to translate such political commitment into concrete measures Covenant signatories are asked to prepare a baseline emissions inventory and submit within the year following their signature a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP).
The NFLA Briefing outlines the various ways the six Scottish Councils are trying to develop more definitive energy policies and strategies. It focuses on step changes in the likes of:
- supporting widespread district heating programmes across Scotland;
- realising the huge potential of geothermal energy, particularly in the central belt of Scotland;
- developing innovative and exciting renewable energy schemes likes the Edinburgh Solar Cooperative, the Glasgow Cathkin Braes wind turbines, the Outer Hebrides energy schemes, the Lerwick Harbour district heat pump scheme and the Levenmouth Community Energy Scheme in Fife.
Such dynamic and innovative strategies from Scottish Councils will have a major impact in realising the Scottish Climate Change Delivery Plan. This report provides an inspiring vision of how Councils can help to deliver a low carbon Scotland. Similar reports are also being developed by the NFLA for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
From switching street lighting to energy efficient bulbs, to supporting community energy schemes and investigating geothermal energy, to innovative projects making the most of renewable electricity by converting surpluses to heat and hydrogen fuel for vehicles; local authorities are implementing tried and tested solutions as well as experimenting with new innovative techniques.
Almost all the local authorities looked at in the report are expanding district heating networks. The role of local authorities here is crucial in working towards meeting Scotland‟s renewable heat targets, because of the strategic role they can play in establishing local heat networks. In order to tackle the scourge of fuel poverty, NFLA calls for strong political leadership from Council Leaders to meet renewable heat targets and make thousands of homes more energy efficient.
NFLA Scotland Convener Councillor Bill Butler said:
I welcome this excellent report as providing Scottish Councils and local authorities across the UK and Ireland with some inspiring examples of how to take forward innovative low carbon energy solutions. NFLA strongly believe that Councils can play a vital role in developing a renewable rich, nuclear free low carbon energy future in Scotland. This report shows how they are delivering just that across the country, from the largest city of Glasgow through to smaller island authorities in the Outer Hebrides and Shetland. I encourage councillors and council officers to read the report and action their own low carbon energy future.”
For more information please contact Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary on 0161 234 3244 or Pete Roche NFLA Scotland Policy Advisor on 0131 444 1445.
Notes for editors:
(1) NFLA Policy Briefing 134 analysing selected Scottish Council energy strategies is attached with this media release. It will go on the NFLA website http://www.nuclearpolicy.info in the ‘General Policy Briefings’ section.
(2) See http://www.covenantofmayors.eu/index_en.html for further details.