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ENERGY TRANSITION and our Natural Capital


investing in the future

The South of Scotland is confident about its future and the opportunities created by delivering a just transition to net zero. The region is blessed with an abundance of opportunities that are making this a reality – and you can be a part of it. No matter the scale of your ambition, the South of Scotland has the space, the capital assets, the people and the expertise to realise and deliver your vision. Something exciting is happening in the South of Scotland – shaped by ambition, led by bold individuals, entrepreneurs, communities and organisations.

Making the decision to grow your business in the South of Scotland has never been easier, with various grants and funding being provided by the Scottish Government and other partners to ensure our ambitious goals, both regionally and nationally, can be reached on time.

Opportunity From Coast To Coast

With both an abundance and variety of natural resources, infrastructure, innovation and a supportive business environment, the South of Scotland is home to a thriving community of businesses, entrepreneurs and developers that are delivering a just transition to net zero.

renewable energy

The South of Scotland already makes a far greater per capita share of Scotland’s renewable energy generation at 16%, producing 4.8 TWh of renewable electricity in 2020, which represents 3.6 times as much renewable power than all electricity consumed across the region. In addition to generating a surplus of energy being at the centre of the UK places the South of Scotland at the heart of electrical transmission across the nation, providing one of the most secure grids in Europe.

Onshore wind – The region hosts almost 10% of UK onshore wind production. As of July 2022, some 28 further consented onshore wind farms were located in the region with a total of some 875MW of additional capacity yet to be constructed and some 140MW under construction. There were a further 1.6GW in planning and it is estimated that, in total, 2GW or more of onshore wind is likely to be constructed in the region by 2030, if the Scottish Government’s draft target of an additional 12 GW of new capacity is to be delivered by that date.

Solar – The South of Scotland has the highest solar irradiance in Scotland. The South and West of Dumfries & Galloway and East of the Scottish Borders can achieve over 1000kWp/m2/annum GHI, more similar to Southern England than Scotland’s average, representing an opportunity for large scale generation and local utilisation.

Tidal – Scotland’s tidal range is generally between 4-5m, however the highest tidal ranges are found in the inner Solway Firth, where the mean spring tidal range can be between 7-8m.

Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas – being home to over to 1/4 of Scotland’s cattle and 1/2 of its dairy herd, the region has high concentrations of cattle and therefore the potential to utilise anaerobic digestors to produce biogas, power, heat and renewable fertiliser.

Developable Sites – The region hosts a variety of large sites which are suitable for the development and utilisation of renewable generation, such as Chapelcross (>500 acres) and Eastriggs (>1000 acres).

Natural Capital

The South of Scotland is being positioned as the “Natural Capital Innovation Zone” to encourage and accelerate responsible investment across the region.

The South of Scotland is acting now to safeguard the role of our natural capital in the just transition to net zero. Today, this is nowhere more evident than the region’s successes in carbon capture and sequestration. The South of Scotland’s abundance of woodland, peatland, grassland, and saltmarshes provides an unrivalled opportunity for the sustainable sequestration of carbon emissions.

Values based economy

Delivering the just transition to net zero goes beyond what we deliver – how we deliver it is just as important. We measure success not just as a measure of carbon captured; the value the transition can unlock for the South of Scotland’s communities is near-unlimited in its potential. From generating new revenue for communities to the new business models that are ushering in the net zero age, our values-based economy is vital to how we build the economy of the future and reach our goal of being the UK’s first net zero region.

download the south of scotland net zero investment guide here

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