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Mid Term Project Update (Oct 2013 – November 2014)

Background

The WARES project was approved by the Northern Periphery Programme in September 2012 with a total budget of almost €1.3 million and a Scottish budget of €275,000.  IRRI is the lead partner for the project.

Project Description

This is a 2-Year project which will explore the hidden and unexploited potential of water utilities to generate renewable energy.  This will focus on sites which the utilities would not necessarily develop themselves, because the potential is hidden. The WARES project intends to establish three pilot sites in the Highlands and Islands region of Scotland, and others across the Northern Periphery of Europe.  The project has been given strategic status by the NPP secretariat, which means that it is expected to lead to policy change at a regional and transnational level.

Scottish Government Support

Scottish Government kindly supported WARES when the project was at the design and application stage as well as providing match funding for the 2 year project. The investment from Scottish Government has been an important factor in the development and credibility of the project as well as providing a platform to build on the Hydro Nation objectives set out by the Government and industry partners.

Intended Project Outcomes

These are the anticipated outcomes of the project:-

  • Extended development of renewable energy from Scottish Water and the otherwise unexploited assets
  • Delivery of Hydro Nation objectives with regard to renewable energy
  • Development of PPP’s and consequent capacity creation
  • Model for self-sustaining long-term development requiring no Government subsidy once established
  • European investment in Scotland
  • Scottish profile in Europe
  • Policy engagement with the water and energy theme in Brussels

Outcomes Achieved to Date

There are currently 10 months remaining in the project and the folowing objectives have been achieved to date: -

  • Iniital feasability studies carried out on 9 potential Scottish Water sites, all of which are based in the Highlands and Islands
  • Assessment and review of a wide range of new, innovative technologies capable of delivering economically viable community projects
  • Detailed and ongoing discussions with 2 community councils (Kiltearn Community Council; and Spean Bridge, Roy Bridge and Achnacarry Community Council) with a view to developing the full business case for the PPP.
  • Working in partnership with HIE Community Development team to identify a third community with which to work.
  • Close partnership working with HIE to ensure that each project will be self-sustaining and will require no Government subsidy once established. This working relationship also ensures that there is no duplication or overlap with community interactions from HIE or any other public agency.
  • WARES regularly interacts with each of the partner regions; Norway, Finland, Ireland and Northern Ireland. The project is also visiting Iceland in January 2014. The project is enabling IRRI to promote Hydro Nation as a key strategic aim of the Scottish Government strategy going forward.
  • Agreement with Scottish Government and Scotland House to hold the final WARES Policy Road show event in Sept 2014 to ensure appropriate and relevant policy engagement with the water and energy themes in Brussels.

Ewan Ramsay

December 2013

 


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Footnote

Telephone: +44 (0)131 202 1649
75A Peffer Place
EDINBURGH EH16 4BB
Scotland (UK)

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