Scottish schools to cut carbon

The Scottish Government has launched a new initiative to promote energy efficiency and renewable microgeneration in Scotland's schools.

Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced a package of measures on January 5 aimed at lowering the carbon impact of the school estate.

As well as meeting manifesto commitments to get renewable generation in every school, the measures are intended to contribute to the 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 required under the Scottish Climate Change Bill.

Ms Hyslop recently visited Sanderson’s Wynd Primary school in Tranent, which has lighting that reacts automatically to daylight levels, solar photovoltaic panels and two wind turbines.

She said: “All of the measures at Sanderson will be important in helping tackle climate change and, at a time of high fuel prices, both renewable generation and energy-efficiency measures will be important in helping local authorities reduce consumption, carbon emissions and energy bills.”

Working with the Carbon Trust, the Scottish Government aims to ensure that local authorities have the skills to secure sustainable school design.

A sustainable schools web-portal will be hosted on the Government’s website, providing advice and guidance on creating a low-carbon school estate.

The Government is also funding two Schools Renewables Development Officers (SRDOs), already in place, to help authorities identify renewable potential in their schools.

The SRDOs will assist in obtaining funding for microgeneration installations, aiming to maximise authorities’ uptake of the UK Low Carbon Building Programme (LCBP) and identifying opportunities for partnership with the private sector.

Each authority will also be assisted by a Carbon Trust low-carbon consultant.

The Trust has already worked with Inverclyde Council to help secure schools with a significantly lower carbon footprint than traditional designs.

John Stocks, manager of the Carbon Trust in Scotland, said: “I am delighted to say that the Carbon Trust will be repeating this project with a number of local authorities and we hope that we can facilitate up-skilling across the construction sector.”

Emma Waghorn

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