TWELVE projects to create local, green energy solutions have been awarded a share of £2.6 million through a government scheme to support low carbon energy.

Projects in Glencoe, Callander, Aviemore, Stromness and St Andrews were amongst those to be awarded a share of the funding as part of the Scottish Government's Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme (LCITP).

The schemes include low carbon heat provision at the University of the West of Scotland's Ayr campus, energy efficient homes for older people in North Lanarkshire and an energy project in Glencoe Village.

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP said: "The Scottish Government has set some of the most ambitious carbon reduction targets on the planet – exceeding the requirements of the Paris agreement – and is making excellent progress towards meeting them.

"We have also set our sights on eradicating fuel poverty – which is an unacceptable blight on too many households in Scotland in 2017 – as energy prices have risen steadily, at a time when wages have been depressed due to a weak UK economy and austerity.

"These twin challenges drive our ambition for innovative local energy projects, such as those for which we are today announcing £2.6m of funding, as these will provide many consumers, including in some of Scotland's most remote areas, with an alternative, greener, and potentially cheaper energy source.

"The construction and maintenance of these projects will also have the added benefit of creating and sustaining jobs, and in doing so can bolster local economies."

Ten projects received £550,000 of LCITP development support to produce Investment Grade Business Cases, which will be matched by at least £550,000 from project partners.

Two projects received LCITP capital support of £1.95m – match funded by the Scottish Government District Heating Loan Fund.

Dr Sam Gardner, acting director at WWF Scotland, said: "This is welcome news and demonstrates that the low carbon future we need to secure is possible right here and now in communities across Scotland.

"A transformation in how we heat our homes and offices, how we travel to work and school, and how we power our industries will generate many social and economic benefits. Research shows that generating half of our energy from renewables by 2030 is both necessary and achievable.

"This is a move in the right direction by the Scottish Government, but we need to see more policies for how it will replicate its amazing progress on renewable electricity in the heat and transport sectors to ensure we hit the 50 per cent target by 2030."