The Scottish Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing, on Wednesday announced a funding boost for the Scottish Biofuel programme at Edinburgh Napier University’s Sighthill campus. He pledged that along with funding from the EU, Scottish Enterprise and partner institutions, will grant additional funding to the tune of £475,000 over the next 2 years to the programme that is committed to developing fuel sources outside fossil fuels. The Minister voiced his hopes that this money would be able to help Scottish Biofuel to continue to ‘break new ground’ in this industry in which Scotland is undeniably a world leader.
As well as the Minister’s announcement at the reception on the fifth floor of Sighthill’s state of the art library, there were also speeches from Martin Tangney, the director of Napier’s Biofuel research centre and Founder and Chief Scientific officer at Celtic renewables, Jim Walker, Managing Director of Argent Energy , and Andrea Nolan, Principal and Vice Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University.
After being introduced as ‘the man who has done the work to give credibility to Scottish Biofuel’ Jim Walker of Argent energy went on to explain in detail the work that is done at the company’s plant in Motherwell. He explained the company’s huge successes in creating sustainable biofuels from saturated fat from animals and from other sources. He further went on to explain the company’s exponential growth including the company’s acquirement by Swire to eventually turn it into a multinational company.
Further to the speeches made by figures within the industry there was also a whisky tasting session immediately following the reception with Celtic Renewables, who use the waste from the distillation of whisky to create biofuel. The companies that were represented at the reception are at the core of an industry that is looking to Scotland for its lead. Not only does it create an atmosphere that there is ground breaking research going on in Scotland, and in particular the cross-university group that is led by Edinburgh Napier, but as Minister Ewing says, it’s about the future of our own well being:
“We are very keen to continue to support the Scottish Biofuel programme and all the good work that collectively they’re doing.
“We need to do so for climate change, we want to improve air quality, we want to improve the health and wellbeing of our citizens and we want to tackle the omissions particularly in the transport area and biofuels play such a vital part in that.”