City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

MSP Hopes To Spur Micro-Energy Uptake by Scots

By edg - Posted on 02 October 2007

By 2030 many houses in Scotland could be independent of the national grid, powered autonomously, sharing, redistributing and trading locally-generated electricty, and using micro-energy production and conservation technology to produce three quarters of the country's energy requirements.

Initiatives like replacing old boilers with generators that both heat the building and produce electricity, solar panels for summer months, and occasionally wind turbines, are already gaining some steam. However, for progress to happen on any significant scale it will require changes in building planning and standards.

It is with this in mind that Sarah Boyack, MSP for Edinburgh Central, is introducing a new Member's Bill, the The Energy Efficiency and Micro-Generation (Scotland) Bill. She hopes it will speed the introduction of micro-electricity generation in Scottish houses and help reduce Scotland's carbon footprint.

"The proposals in my Member's Bill have massive potential to benefit
people by helping to keep their homes warm, improving their energy
security and reducing their impact on the planet too," says Sarah Boyack.

The new legislation would require all new buildings to
include capacity for small-scale electricity generation and provide
incentives, such as reduced business rates or reductions on Council
tax, for developments that incorporate certified measures.

It would
also require Scottish Government to set targets for micro-generation
and for local authorities to consider the role such technology can play
in achieving sustainable energy, by setting targets and strategies to
take this forward.

The proposal has broad support from organisations with an interest in the environment, fuel poverty and industry, such as WWF Scotland and Scottish Renewables, the green energy trade body.

"Business as usual will
not eradicate fuel poverty by 2016 we need to embrace micro-renewables
if we are to have a real chance of reaching our targets," Norman Kerr, Director of Energy Action Scotland.

"Sarah Boyack's Bill will help mainstream micro renewables in Scotland
and help the micro renewables sector boost Scotland's economy," says
Jason Ormiston, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables.

The Bill has met with luke warm response from Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable
Growth, John Swinney MSP. Last month he told Sarah Boyack that the Scottish
Government would not be supporting her Member's Bill but may take up some of the provisions
within the Bill in the forthcoming Government Bill on Climate Change.