The Scottish government’s programme for 2018/19, unveiled by the first minister in a speech in the Holyrood parliament earlier this week (4 September), includes a commitment to spend an additional £7bn on infrastructure by the end of the next Scottish parliament in 2026.

Sturgeon said the Scottish government would steadily increase annual infrastructure investment so that it will be £1.5bn per year higher by then than the amount planned for the upcoming financial year 2019/20.

She said clean energy projects would benefit from this increased investment alongside schools, hospitals, transport and digital connectivity.

The programme also includes a commitment by the Scottish government to invest £15m to create 1,500 new electric vehicle charge points, 150 of which will be in public places.

The new charge points will underpin the expansion of the Scottish “Switched on Towns and Cities” initiative to create 20 new “electric towns” by 2025.

The programme includes a commitment by the Scottish government to publish a progress report “later this year” on the delivery of its strategy to supply half of Scotland’s total power needs from renewable sources followed by an annual report in early 2019.

The programme says the Scottish government will be consulting “later this year” on its preferred model for delivering a public owned not for profit energy company by 2021.

And the upcoming year will see consultation on a new sectoral marine plan, which will identify future locations for large-scale offshore wind developments.

Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, welcomed the additional investment in low carbon infrastructure.

She said: “Expansion of Scotland’s electric vehicle infrastructure will make it easier for drivers to cut carbon and take advantage of the renewable power produced here in Scotland while embracing the shift to a smarter, more modern energy system.

David Blackman

This article first appeared on edie sister title’s website, Utility Week

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