Commenting on today’s announcement that the Scottish Government is to create a £103m Renewable Energy Investment Fund using money obtained from the Fossil Fuel Levy, Stan Blackley, Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“Renewables are the only genuinely sustainable solution to our energy problems. Its therefore very welcome that, only a day after the UK Government announced shocking tax breaks for the bloated and polluting oil and gas sector, the Scottish Government is rightly prioritising investment in clean and renewable energy technologies.

“The focus on community scale and community-owned renewables is particularly welcome. Community renewables bring multiple benefits, not only reducing carbon emissions, but bringing direct financial benefits that can be used to regenerate communities and help those most in need. In fact, when income received by communities from their own renewables are then reinvested in measures such as waste reduction, community transport or home insulation, they can have a double positive effect for both the community and the environment.

“While geographical communities are clearly important and should benefit from this fund, so too should other not-for-profit organisations that may be classed as communities of interest, such as cooperatives, credit unions and non-governmental organisations. While these groups may not represent geographical areas, they still represent a large number of Scots who may wish to support renewable energy projects.”

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
 t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

1. £103 million fund for renewables – Scottish Government press release
www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2012/03/renewableenergyinvestmentfund22032012

2. The Fossil Fuel Levy is a levy paid by suppliers of electricity from non-renewable energy sources in the United Kingdom.

3. Friends of the Earth Scotland is * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk