Charities and business team up for a Scottish electrical revolution

Prospects for new industrial revolution are bright only with government aid, says electric industry and green campaigners

EMERGING BUSINESSES and environmental charities have urged the Scottish Government to embark on a radical path of electrical upgrading of transport and infrastructure.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Scotland have said that Scotland would have to follow the example of Norway and increase electric cars and buses if it is to cut its emissions by 2030.

Scottish manufacturers of electric buses, cars and engines also claimed that such a move would boost growth and jobs in the economy.

“By supporting the roll-out of battery powered vehicles, the Scottish Government can help create a significant new Scottish industry, create new jobs, help the renewables sector and get closer to its low carbon and environmental goals.” Ian Whiting

WWF Scotland’s climate and energy policy officer Fabrice Leveque said: “Scottish companies are already involved in manufacturing electric buses and batteries, installing charge points and operating low emissions vehicles, reflecting growing global momentum behind the move to electric.

“The fact that in Norway today almost one-third of new car sales are electric vehicles (EVs) shows it can be done.

“Recent research has shown that the switch to electric vehicles is not only possible but essential if we’re to reduce climate emissions from Scotland’s transport sector. Moving to electric will also clean up the dirty air in our towns and cities, and drivers will benefit from much lower fuel costs. Already several countries across Europe are considering phasing out fossil fuelled cars within the next ten to fifteen years.”

Earlier this year, the Committee of Climate Change (CCC) stated that 50 per cent of Scotland’s energy would have to come from renewables. It cited changes to housing and transport as the main drivers for “consistent and wholesale transformation”. Electric car sales in Norway reached 29 per cent of over all sales this June, which campaigners point to as proof of the effectiveness of government support.

Electric car sales in Norway have reached 29 per cent of all new cars

Ian Whiting, Director of AGM Batteries Ltd, a Thurso-based firm that runs the UK's largest lithium-ion cell manufacturing plant said:

“We’re part of two consortia with other Scottish partners creating the next generation of battery technologies for EVs and hybrid vehicles. Exactly the same technologies can be used for electrical energy storage from Scotland’s wealth of renewable generators. By supporting the roll-out of battery powered vehicles, the Scottish Government can help create a significant new Scottish industry, create new jobs, help the renewables sector and get closer to its low carbon and environmental goals.”

In the last climate review, it was found that Scotland generates the equivalent of 57 per cent of its electricity consumption from renewables and emissions have been cut by 39.5 per cent since 1990.

Picture courtesy of Norsk Elb

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