Though they’re already one of the world’s leading developers of renewable energies, Scotland is looking to ramp up its alternative energy sectors by turning to bio-energy.
Recently, drink manufacturer Diageo announced plans to build a bio-energy plant that will produce green energy from byproducts of malt whisky distilling. Initiatives like this are setting a strong example for other companies in Scotland and around the globe to look for bio-energy opportunities, said Brian Higgs, the malt distilling director for Diageo.
And these opportunities are becoming more and more feasible.
“The financial markets have traditionally viewed renewable energy research as risky to fund, and the blocking of innovation by lack of investment is a growing problem for a field still in its infancy,” said an article published in The Journal last month. “Fortunately, some banks are already choosing to overlook the perceived financial danger tied up in experimental research projects like these, and are slowly growing more willing to provide the financial backing that will ultimately help to establish and sustain a market value for these companies.”
Scotland already has a stronghold in alternative energy markets such as wind and wave energy. The Scottish government recently announced that it was aiming for an 80 per cent reduction in emissions by 2050, and suggested that alternative energy sources would be a key component of meeting this goal.
“According to Joss Blamire, policy manager at Scottish Renewables, the [renewable energy] sector is well-positioned to reduce carbon emissions in the region by 42 per cent by 2020 and take advantage of the ‘outstanding natural resources’ on offer in Scotland,” wrote The Journal.
Scotland universities are also contributing to the potential of these future markets. Recently, Business secretary Vince Cable announced a £6.5 million investment in Scottish universities for this purpose, including the funding of a new Industrial Doctorate Centre in Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE) based at the Universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Exeter.