Publication - FOI/EIR release

Information relating to Energy Transition fund: FOI release

Published: 16 Sep 2021

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
16 Sep 2021
Information relating to Energy Transition fund: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100225505
Date received: 25 Jul 2021
Date responded: 24 Aug 2021
Information requested

1. The political motivation, lobbying activities, stakeholder consultation, legal formalization, and financial backing in the creation of the fund.

2. The projects funded and the project partners receiving the funds.

3. The process and criteria for selecting fundable and funded projects.

4. Any submissions and correspondence from or with potential and selected project partners.

5. The impact assessment and potential liabilities of the project partners for not realizing the outcomes promised upon submitting project proposals.

Response

1. The £62m Energy Transition Fund (ETF) was established by Scottish Government as a rapid response to the dual challenges presented by commodity downturn and the wider economic impact of Covid19. It was created to support our energy sector and the North East help make significant progress on energy transition as we move toward a net zero society by 2045.

The ETF is a cross-policy initiative that offers demonstrable benefits and appropriate outcomes for both energy and economy policy aims. The ETF is intended to support the recovery outcomes of a fairer, greener, more prosperous and resilient economy by building on the energy sector’s capacity to drive a just transition towards net-zero through growth in key markets – such as hydrogen and CCUS – using the skills, knowledge and expertise to support employment in the region.

The ETF aligns with the wider North East regional strategy and by using the Scottish Government’s Community Wealth Building approach, we can ensure that local firms and workers directly benefit from the opportunities of these investments and the related supply chains. The region benefits from a historically positive collaboration between public and private sector and it is important that this investment provides a platform to continue to strengthen this collaborative approach.

The ETF will contribute to enhancing Scotland’s approach to a wellbeing economy; improving the quality of life of its people on a sustainable basis. The ETF will boost the North East energy sector, in particular renewables, help businesses and workers in the region build resilience to economic fluctuations, and help to diversify the region’s energy sector and wider economy whilst galvanising the North East of Scotland as an ‘Energy Transition Region’.

The ETF will also seek to support the oil and gas supply chain’s move towards new transition-focused activity and seek to retain the energy sector expertise in the region, utilising this to enable a successful and just transition.

2. The Scottish Government have already announced £26.3m funding for the Energy Transition Zone (ETZ), £16.6 m funding for Net Zero Technology Transition Programme, £6.5 million for a Global Underwater Hub, and £4.65 million to the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub. The project partners are: ETZ Ltd, Net Zero Technology Centre, SubSea UK and Aberdeen City Council.

3. The projects identified were developed in consultation with the sector and are accepted as being strategically important to the sector, and the region, and to accelerate the energy transition. The projects within the ETF are at the forefront of energy transition and have the potential, with SG support to try new, novel approaches, to accelerate this transition and deliver inclusive growth in the North East of Scotland. All project partners were required to submit a full business case proposal for funding, that was assessed and approved by an ETF Steering Group.

4. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. The request for any submissions and correspondence from or with potential and selected project partners is refused because the search is too wide, and costs exceed the upper cost limit of £600, complying would be manifestly unreasonable. Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600, to narrow your request to a specific time period or specific correspondence. [You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs' on his website at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Tipsforrequesters.aspx.

5. The Scottish Government did not complete an impact assessment in respect of the potential liabilities of the project partners for not realizing the outcomes promised upon submitting project proposals. However, all grant funding is subject to projects providing regular reporting against key milestones.

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG