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Scotland ERDF Logo

Scotland began a 76 million-pound program of investment in low-carbon infrastructure such as heating for homes and transportation improvements. The Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme is getting 33 million pounds from the European Regional Development Fund. The program will support startup projects through to demonstration facilities.

“The estimated market value of sales in Scotland’s low carbon and environmental goods and services sector in 2011 to 2012 was 10.1 billion pounds, with around 4,200 companies employing 78,000 people,” Keith Brown, cabinet secretary for infrastructure, investment and cities, said in the statement. “This is forecast to grow by 30 percent to reach a value of 13.2 billion pounds by 2016 to 2017.”

A range of support mechanisms including project development, expert advice and funding (where applicable) is available through the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP) to support the development of substantive private, public and community low-carbon projects across Scotland.

The principal aim of the LCITP is to contribute to the Scottish Government’s long-term target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by 2020.

The LCITP is a working partnership between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Scottish Futures Trust and sector specialists. This partnership is supported by the new 2014 – 2020 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programme. The intervention will focus on supporting the acceleration of projects to develop investment grade business cases allowing them to secure existing streams of public and private capital finance.

In addition, the programme will collate evidence on recurring barriers and challenges to projects and share this intelligence with investment communities to ensure the refinement of all parts of the system to support the transition to a low carbon economy where possible. It is expected that information about supported projects will be shared as required on a confidential basis between the partners without affecting applicants’ commercial sensitivity.

The LCITP will consider support for projects in the following areas:

  • low carbon and/or renewable electricity and heat generation
  • local energy economies
  • heat recovery (e.g. district heating)
  • energy storage and distributed energy systems
  • hydrogen
  • demand side management and active network management
  • innovative/ local finance solutions and investor readiness for low carbon projects
  • energy efficiency (e.g. non-domestic building retrofit)
  • resource efficiency
  • materials recycling and re-use

It is anticipated that eligible projects will demonstrate the following qualities:

  • falling within the agreed subject/topic areas outlined above
  • an innovative approach to cross sector collaboration to ensure successful project delivery
  • the potential to deliver significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions (MtCO2e) and/or energy consumption
  • the ability to attract other sources of funding that make a significant contribution towards the cost of the project; and
  • the potential to have a positive and significant social and economic impact on Scotland
  • community engagement and/or potential for community investment
  • the ability to demonstrate directly the added benefits that can be delivered through LCITP support

Non-Domestic Energy Efficiency (NDEE)

Given the scale of the Scottish public sector estate (over 19 million square metres – equivalent in size to 4,000 football pitches) an opportunity exists for the Scottish public sector to lead by example in facilitating the implementation of energy efficiency across the public sector, to stimulate the NDEE market and act as a catalyst for retrofit projects across both the public and private sector.

The purpose of SFT’s work in this area is to facilitate access to a NDEE commercial framework, with a range of suppliers that meets the breadth of requirements of the Scottish public sector.

Street Lighting Replacement Programme, Scottish Futures Trust:

The Scottish Futures Trust

As the cost of electricity is set to double over the next ten years, an easy-to-use toolkit has been launched to give Scotland’s local authorities real-time information on how many millions they would save by phasing in energy efficient LED street lights.

Today, across Scotland, there’s some 900,000 street lights that collectively cost Scotland’s councils £40 million each year to power. In addition, each year those lamps release nearly 200,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere which also has a tax allocated to it which burdens councils’ coffers even further.

With clocks set to go back marking the end of British Summer Time and thereby triggering the onset of earlier darker evenings leading to greater energy consumption for councils’ street lights, many local authorities are seeking alternative ways to keep streets lit.

It should therefore come as no surprise that as a canny nation the Scots have come up with an ingenious device that will allow councils to save hundreds of millions of pounds from their energy bills, which is sparking huge amounts of interest all over the world.

In 2012 the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) carried out a pathfinder project with two councils to establish what savings would be generated by introducing new LED lanterns. West Dunbartonshire Council was one of the pilot projects supported by SFT and is now the first council to have transformed all its old lamps to new LEDs. Today, the council is on track to save £500,000 each year in energy costs, illustrating the size of the prize.

With energy efficient street lighting seen as a priority across Scotland, Scottish Government established a steering group comprising representatives from SFT, councils, Resource Efficient Scotland, Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland, Scotland Excel, Cosla and Scottish Government. The group’s task is to co-ordinate the support required by all Scotland’s councils to take projects forward.

At the same time, SFT published a Street Lighting Toolkit in March 2013. Since then, SFT has worked on making major improvements and in March 2015 produced its much advanced Toolkit. This has now been rolled out across the UK by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

It has been uniquely designed to input data councils already hold to calculate what level of investment is required and for the council to then put forward a strong business case.

By using the Toolkit, the cumulative energy and maintenance cost savings for all Scotland’s councils would reach £1.2 billion and save 2.6 million tonnes of CO2 over the next 20 years.

Such has been the appeal of the new Toolkit that SFT has received over 150 download requests from countries across Europe and further afield including Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Mexico, Chile, USA and Singapore.

SFT’s Street Lighting Toolkit is the first guide of its kind in the world and is providing councils with clarity and understanding of the financial and environmental benefits of undertaking a street lighting investment programme.

With the whole of the UK now looking to use SFT’s Street Lighting Toolkit, the UK’s cumulative energy cost savings will amount to £13bn.

Building Information Modelling (BIM)

A key recommendation within Scottish Government’s Construction Procurement review was the implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) to Level 2 by April 2017. The review set out the following recommendation which was endorsed by Scottish Ministers:

‘The use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) should be introduced in central government with a view to encouraging its adoption across the entire public sector. The objective should be that, where appropriate, construction projects across the public sector in Scotland adopt a BIM level 2 approach by April 2017.’

As Scotland moves towards a digital built environment, BIM is seen as a key part for the future of the Scottish construction industry. BIM uses digital technology to improve the sharing and analysis of data within a construction project. Through improving data management and collaboration within projects, this will support the industry to deliver greater efficiencies through the design, construction and operational stages of a project. Public sector organisations have already begun this journey to ready themselves for the adoption of BIM level 2.

As Scotland’s construction sector continues to move towards becoming digitised, the management of digital data and information within the public estate is seen as a crucial mechanism to drive efficiencies during the construction and operational stages.

The Scottish Government recognised this and endorsed the adoption of BIM Level 2 where appropriate from April 2017. A BIM Delivery Group for Scotland was formed by Scottish Futures Trust in Oct 2015 to deliver this objective.

However, BIM adoption has had its challenges across the supply chain. The construction industry is understanding what it means for them and why to invest.

But what exactly are the risks and rewards for their efforts?

Public sector procurers are no different and the BIM Programme for Scotland seeks to address three critical questions on BIM implementation: when, why and how to adopt.

When should I adopt BIM as a client?

From April 2017, new Scottish Government policy will require relevant public sector procurers in Scotland to assess new projects via a ‘BIM Grading Tool’.

This online tool seeks project-specific information and provides a BIM level to which the project should adopt.

Why should I adopt BIM?

The BIM Programme for Scotland has developed a unique return-on-investment assessment that examines the cost and qualitative benefits of adopting Level 2.

The tool generates a summary dashboard to support business cases and investment. This will assist in clarifying why BIM should be adopted through identifying the marginal gains on a cost and qualitative basis.

How should I adopt BIM as a client?

The new BIM Guidance Portal for Scotland can quickly direct users towards organisation-specific guidance on adopting BIM.

Key to the guidance is supporting public sector clients by developing considered and well-defined information requirements. The portal includes templates, guidance and best practice all aligned to the British Standards and for BIM Levels 1 and 2.

The approach is one of proportionality. There is an awareness that procurers as well as industry need to get the basics right and develop a robust information management platform to allow industry to progress.

Therefore, it may be better to implement BIM Level 1 in lieu of BIM Level 2 to meet the needs of the project and embed better data management and sharing.

All these new tools and guides will be contained on the new BIM Guidance Portal to be launched by the BIM Delivery Group for Scotland in the coming weeks.

The launch of the Scottish Government’s BIM policy in April 2017 will mark a significant milestone.

The digital journey ahead will require collaboration and ambition if it is to succeed.