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Scotland invests $55 million in low-carbon projects

Jeff J Mitchell | Getty Images

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced details of more than £43 million ($55.7 million) of investment in low-carbon infrastructure.

The investment – which is matched by at least £43 million from the private and public sector – will be spread across 13 projects in Scotland. These include an energy storage project in Shetland and low carbon heat networks in Stirling, Dundee, Clydebank and Glenrothes.

"These projects have great potential to help us tackle climate change, and remain at the forefront of low carbon and renewable innovation," Sturgeon said on Wednesday. "They will also bring economic benefits – in terms of savings and jobs – to local areas across the country."

Sturgeon went on to state that Scotland's pattern of energy consumption had changed considerably over the last ten years. This had helped Scotland meet and exceed its 2020 target for cutting energy consumption six years early.

"We are determined to build on this success, and we are now seeking views on a new target through our draft Energy Strategy for 50 percent of our energy consumption – spanning heat, transport and electricity – to be met by renewables by 2030."

Sturgeon's comments were welcomed by environmental groups. "We're delighted to hear the First Minister reaffirm her Government's commitment to meeting half of Scotland's energy needs from renewable sources by 2030," Sam Gardner, acting director of WWF Scotland, said in a statement.

"A transformation in how we heat our homes and offices, how we travel to work and school, and how we power our industries will generate many social and economic benefits," Gardner went on to add.

The Scottish government says that there are more than 58,000 jobs in the low carbon and renewable energy economy in Scotland, and that renewables are Scotland's single largest contributor to electricity generation.