Dear Orkney News,
The Westminster Government has finally sold off the Green Investment Bank, and with a £186m profit. So that’s all good then?
No it isn’t. The bank was set up to aid the research, development and real world application of things like renewable energy projects and new bio-science industries which can struggle to gain funding from the general banking sector, which operates on a very short time scale.
In Orkney we are witnessing a real time creation of a vibrant economy based on the research, development and grid connected renewable energy systems, which is significantly boosting our local economy and is encouraging development of the smart grid and new energy storage techniques.
These new industries can take decades to come to fruition, and whoever has the foresight to make that long term investment will reap the dual rewards of high income, high skill employment and a new economy as we transition from one based on fossil carbon fuels.
The existing knowledge and abilities of our engineering sector is being put to good use supporting and building these new industries, creating and preserving vital employment.
Holyrood has a good record of supporting R&D in these areas but I think we need to go much further. I take the view that Scotland should form a Scottish Green Investment Bank to future proof our economy. We could fund this bank from central and local government funds, and from giving Scottish citizens the ability to invest our savings in our economic future.
A cleaner, greener, smarter future is there for the taking. We just need the will and self belief as a nation to take it.
Jon Southerington, Orkney