Increasing cash support for community climate projects, including energy generation and saving, plus for training Scotland’s next generation of energy technicians, has emerged from two distinct sources.
Across Britain, the National Lottery today invites energy co-ops and volunteers to step “in it, to win it”, competing for a new £2.5 million pot.
Together for Our Planet, part of the Lottery’s Community Fund, will hand out grants up to £10,000 for projects tackling carbon emissions in areas such as energy, food, transport, waste, consumption and nature.
Applications opened on September 1 and close on November 18, after the COP26 Climate Summit closes in Glasgow. Longer term climate action is the fund’s focus within communities.
“With this programme we are keen to reach those who are not sure how to take climate action or who haven’t before”, explained Nick Gardener, head of Climate Action at the Lottery’s Community Fund.
North of the Border, the generosity of a successful Scots entrepreneur is being focused on expanding technical education for energy specialists and professionals.
Mark Glasgow, owner of the Edinburgh Boiler Company, announced plans to invest £3m in an unspecified number of new training centres, remedying the skills shortage hobbling the green heating and energy sector.
The centres will provide courses in clean technologies, both for engineers wanting to learn new skills and for debutants looking to break into the expanding industry, Glasgow said.
The first Energy Training Academy is due to open in Edinburgh in November. Regional centres across Scotland will follow, including in the oil-dependent north east.
“The skills shortage we are currently facing … is concerning”, Glasgow observed.
“This is a vision I have had for some time and given the speed at which our industry is changing towards more sustainable heating technologies, I felt now was the time to really push my plans forward.”
Last month, trade body the Heat Pump Association calculated Britain needs a whisker over 50,000 new installers to qualify this decade, up from the current 3,200 professionals.