News digest

Hydrogen potential | workplace levy | cyber plea

Hydrogen is a potential energy winner for Scotland

Scotland can play a key role in meeting the growing green hydrogen demand in Europe, the Minister for Energy and the Environment Gillian Martin will tell a conference in Brussels this week.

During a visit to Belgium for European Hydrogen Week, Ms Martin will say: “We want to work in partnership with our European neighbours to accelerate the transition to green energy, and this trip is an opportunity to highlight the contribution Scotland could make to the EU’s energy and climate ambitions.

“Scotland is well-placed in terms of proximity and infrastructure, with the potential to produce over three million tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2045, including up to 2.5 million tonnes for export.

“To realise this vision we are currently developing a Hydrogen Sector Export Plan which will be published early next year. We have already signed a number of international agreements on hydrogen.”

Workplace levy plea

Edinburgh City Council is moving ahead with its plan to introduce workplace parking levies which has the potential to raise £11m.

The Scottish Retail Consortium gave written and oral evidence to Parliament when this legislation was initially introduced about four years ago and provided a written submission to Holyrood’s Transport Committee last year.

In its latest Scottish Budget recommendations it calls for the levy to be put on pause for 18 months.

David Lonsdale, Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “Workplace parking levies are a charter for extra cost and complexity. It would see firms taxed twice for the parking places they provide for colleagues, on top of the business rates already paid on those spaces.

“Any consideration of such levies should be paused until the costs crunch facing firms has significantly lessened and economic conditions have markedly improved.”

Cybercrime funding call

Scotland’s Cyber and Fraud Centre is calling for additional funding for a new multi-agency hub that was set up in May 2023

It enables cybersecurity partners, including Police Scotland and the banks to share intelligence, disrupt large criminal gang activity, deliver support to victims and recover stolen funds.

Police Scotland receives around 18,000 fraud calls a year with around 95% being cyber
enabled and committed using an online devices.

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