Capital’s carbon neutral projects given £1m to help hit ‘net zero’

New electric cargo bikes and an e-bike hire scheme is set to come to Edinburgh as part of a £1 million investment in carbon neutral technology in the city.

Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 1:23 pm
Famous landmarks across Scotland including Edinburgh Castle were turned green as part of the announcement of the funding (Photo: Scottish Power Energy Networks)

The investment is the second batch of money from Scottish Power Energy Networks who have pledged £20 million to low or zero carbon technology across Scotland

The funding is part of an effort from the electricity distributor to help meet Scotland’s “net zero” carbon target which has a deadline of 2045.

More than a million pounds has been pledged to the Capital, with projects given funding ranging from electric bike hire schemes to renewable energy sources for parks.

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In the second batch of cash, Transport for Edinburgh has been given just under £500,000 to install docking stations for the Edinburgh Cycle Hire Scheme which will soon include electric bikes.

Another successful project which could offer a window into a car-free Edinburgh city centre is PeddleSMART which has received £275,000 to help develop new technology including e-cargo bikes, takeaway e-bikes and e-tandems in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The money comes from SP Energy Network’s Green Economy Fund and is part of a two-year funding period which began in November last year.

In the first tranche of funding, the City of Edinburgh Council received more than £480,000 to install a micro-hydro electric facility in Saughton Park which powers ground heating pumps used to heat community buildings, park lighting, and electric vehicle charging points.

Another project on Canongate, led by Edinburgh’s World Heritage Trust, also received more than £330,000 to develop new ways of creating energy efficiency in historical buildings.

Overall, the Capital has seen well over £1m of investment in green technologies from the fund, with smaller projects such as making the West Lothian Civic Centre meaning more places than just the Capital are benefitting.

Chief executive at PeddleSMART Adam Reid said the investment would be a huge boost to Scotland’s green economy. He said: “We’re fundamentally changing the way that people, freight and local service teams travel across our towns and cities, reducing air pollution and congestion, and creating new jobs in the local community.

“The investment we’ve received from SP Energy Networks is helping us take our vehicle design to the next level and address transport challenges across multiple transportation markets.”

SP Power Networks’ Frank Mitchell said the funding encourages bodies to “ramp up” investment in the green economy.

He said: “The road to 2045 will mean many everyday activities will decarbonise and switch to all-electric technologies and it’s essential for businesses and communities to start planning now for the transition to a cleaner and greener future. One of the key issues is that 2045 is not that far away. People see the need for urgent action and change.”