Scottish news round-up: 9th December 2008

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SCDI report on Scotland’s future energy needs

A report published today by the SCDI, suggests that Scotland can reach its target of 50 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and continue to export electricity to England and Northern Ireland. In order to achieve this it is proposed that a 500 percent increase in the number of windfarms is needed. The report, compiled by Wood Mackenzie, also states that new nuclear power should be ‘considered as a potential part of the longer term generation base in Scotland’ due to questions about how we replace existing power plants with low carbon alternatives beyond 2020. The other main findings of the report include:

● Onshore wind will provide more than 80 per cent of the increase in renewable electricity by 2020, with marine, biomass and hydro expanding at a tenth of the rate of new wind.
● Scotland needs £10bn of investment in new electricity generation between now and 2020.
● Demand for electricity will rise by 10 per cent in the same time frame - despite continued attempts to encourage greater energy efficiency.
● Scotland’s electricity sector will produce a third less carbon dioxide.
● The report also looks at the potential contribution of carbon capture to Scottish electricity markets.

Social Enterprise Fund to launch in the new year

A £12m fund which will encourage ambitious Third Sector organisations to become more enterprising is to open for applications in the New Year. The Scottish Government's Third Sector Enterprise Fund will offer between £25,000 and £100,000 to organisations wishing to build their capacity, capability and financial sustainability. Enterprise Minister Jim Mather revealed details of the fund at today's Social Firms Scotland annual general meeting in Edinburgh and said supporting the Third Sector was a crucial element of the Scottish Government's economic recovery programme.

Meeting in Glasgow to discuss addiction services

Minister for Community Safety Fergus Ewing will discuss the delivery of the new national drugs strategy with professionals, voluntary groups and service users during a visit to Glasgow today. He will join Tom Divers, Chief Executive NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board, Stevie Lydon Strategic Coordinator for Glasgow and Clyde Drug and Alcohol Action Teams and Neil Hunter Joint General Manager of Glasgow Addiction.

News in brief

● Tom McCabe is expected to suggest reforming the group of watchdog bodies that come under the control of the Scottish Parliament
● A Populus poll for the Times gives the Labour Party a nine point lead over the Conservatives as the most trusted to deal with the recession

Quote of the day

“We need only look at the outcry when BBC Scotland moved "Spooks", which was broadcast throughout the rest of the United Kingdom, to make way for "A History of Scotland"...” - Iain Smith MSP during last week’s Scottish Parliament debate on Broadcasting.

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