Five key opportunities for the low-carbon economy to watch out for in the Programme for Government.
In advance of Tuesday’s announcement of the Scottish Government’s new Programme for Government, WWF Scotland has highlighted five key areas expected to feature in the Programme that could create jobs, boost the economy as well as tackle climate change:
· A Warm Homes Bill was promised in the SNP’s manifesto. It needs to support the rapid growth of district heating and renewable heat in Scotland. With approximately 50% of Scotland’s emissions coming from heating this would bring clean and green warmth to thousands of homes and create new industrial jobs.
· Action to address fuel poverty: With fuel poverty deadlines approaching and households wasting cash and carbon heating leaky homes, increased investment in energy efficiency is needed. A goal must be set to ensure no-one in Scotland is living in a cold & draughty home- meeting this would create 8-9,000 jobs spread across the country, with most of those in small and medium-sized businesses.
· A new Climate Change Bill, promised in the SNP’s manifesto, will provide a welcome opportunity to focus the whole Parliament on climate change. However, the Bill must be consistent with the need for more policy action, as highlighted by the Scottish Government’s independent advisors on climate change.
· A new climate action plan for Scotland will need to be delivered by the end of the year and should be mentioned in today’s announcement. To maximise Scotland’s low-carbon economy it should expand on leadership and emission reductions already achieved in electricity and waste, to address laggard sectors like transport and heat.
· A new energy strategy is also due for the end of the year and is expected to feature in today’s announcement. Progress and leadership from the electricity sector should be spread to the heat and transport sectors with a new target of generating 50% of all of Scotland’s energy (across heat, electricity & transport) from renewables by 2030.
It’s clear that the Scottish economy needs new infrastructure projects and shovel-ready capital investment, but this should be a clean, green economic boost.
Speaking ahead of the announcement, WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said:
“It’s expected that this Programme for Government will focus on the economy, and as the First Minister herself has said action on climate change is a massive economic opportunity for Scotland.
“The proposed new energy strategy is an opportunity to spread the economic benefits we are already securing in the renewable electricity sector to the areas of heat and transport, which account for the majority of our energy use. Scotland’s 2020 renewable electricity target has helped create 21,000 low-carbon jobs, and a target of generating half of all of our energy from renewables by 2030 would help drive the same kind of progress in the heat and transport sectors.
“It’s clear that the Scottish economy needs new infrastructure projects and shovel-ready capital investment, but this should be a clean, green economic boost. Investing in the energy efficiency of our homes is the perfect solution. A multi-billion pound investment in ridding Scotland of the scourge of cold homes would create up to 9,000 jobs spread across every part of Scotland and help us achieve our climate change and fuel poverty ambitions.”
A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon
Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.
There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.
1. The Rise Of Smart Windows
When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.
If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.
2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs
If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.
Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.
3. Low-E Windows Taking Over
It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.
They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.
4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges
Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.
The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.
5. Improving Our Current LEDs
Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.
That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.
Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too
Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.
ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244
IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”
IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.
Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.
Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.
Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:
“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.
We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.
There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.
We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”