Edinburgh Mar 5, 2014 -- PLANS to turn waste from Scotland’s food and drink, energy and chemicals businesses into fuel have been given a £500k boost.
Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing announced today additional government funding for the Scottish Biofuel programme.
Launched in 2012, one remit of the Scottish Biofuel programme is to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) save money and be more environmentally friendly. The £1.6m programme is led by Edinburgh Napier University in partnership with several institutes across Scotland, including the University of Edinburgh, the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), SRUC and the Abertay University.
Professor Martin Tangney, Director of Edinburgh Napier’s Biofuel Research Centre said: “I am delighted to receive this funding and the continued support of the Scottish Government.
“This money allows us to continue to build and expand on the tremendous work of the programme, which is about encouraging businesses to get creative with their waste.
“We are mandated to produce sustainable biofuel and also to reduce waste, but what one company may see as a waste product could be a useful biofuel resource to another, and, crucially, it may also mean a new revenue stream.”
Following previous government and EU awards, the Scottish Government and Zero Waste Scotland have between them this time allocated £466,156 in match funding to the scheme to secure it for another year.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The Scottish Government is committed in supporting the sustainable biofuels sector, which now spans four Ministerial portfolios.
“This is testament to the fact that biofuels have an important contribution to make in several areas – from helping to decarbonise Scotland’s transport sector and improve local air quality; to providing a domestically-produced alternative energy source to oil for a range of uses.
“Their development and manufacture in Scotland helps our economy to flourish and makes great use of our skilled workforce and world-leading academic institutions.”
The Scottish Biofuel programme offers a free consultancy service on alternative waste disposal routes, resource efficiency and conversion options.
Leading biofuel companies already supported by the programme include Argent Energy, the Motherwell company that produces biodiesel from tallow and used cooking oil by-products.
The most recent funding will help SMEs minimise their waste disposal costs and provide tailored information and knowledge in the energy field.
Professor Tangney added: “We know all too well that oil is a finite resource that needs to be replaced as a source of energy. At the same time, the threat of global warming has increased the importance of research into sustainable biofuels.
“Part of the solution to those huge challenges will be implementing new biomass disposal solutions, which will not only have an impact on Scottish businesses’ financial health, but also reduce the impact on the environment.”
This new funding will see the Scottish Biofuel Programme through to 31st March 2015, taking the total level of investment in it to £1,661,776.
For more information about SAMS involvement in this programme please click here .