A new GBP6 million fund backed by both the public and private sectors has been set up to support renewable energy developments in the East of Scotland, UK.

The Sigma Sustainable Energies Fund is being financed by a range of partners – including the Scottish Executive and Scottish and Southern Energy – to stimulate growth in the renewables sector.

The fund has a value of GBP6 million – which could rise to GBP8 million – and investments will be up to GBP500,000 in each company involved. The fund will consider energy-related projects in a wide range of fields including wind, solar, hydro-electric, biomass (including biofuels), ocean, hydrogen, and geo-thermal.

It will also consider projects that develop home and community power systems, fuel cells and energy storage (devices and physical storage), control systems and energy efficient products or applications.

Partners in the Sigma Sustainable Energies Fund include Scottish and Southern Energy, Sigma Technology Investments, Scottish Enterprise Fife, the Scottish Executive and limited partners.

The fund, which is a follow-on and derivative development from the Sigma Innovation Fund (East of Scotland) that was launched in November 2003, will cover areas included the East of Scotland Objective 2 zone and will run until the end of 2008.

Scotland has incredible potential to be a world leader in green energy and we have a target of 40% of our electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020, commented Scotland’s deputy first minister, Nicol Stephen. I now want to see more Scottish companies exploiting the opportunities that exist. I have already announced GBP20 million for clean, green energy products and this new Sigma fund will further strengthen Scotland’s position.