UK urged to secure investments in Scottish renewables industry
The UK Government has been urged to secure investments in the Scottish renewables industry by creating long-term investor confidence. At the same time, the Government has been warned that the recent subsidy cuts could cost Scotland up to £3 billion and jeopardise the national targets for clean energy.
The calls by a section of MPs coincide with the cross-party committee’s release of the latest report scrutinising the impact of recent Westminster policy changes on the Scottish renewables industry.
The MPs praised the success of the industry, which produced 38% of all renewable energy in 2014. This capacity has since increased to almost half of all the renewable energy produced in the UK. This is credited to high wind capacity and hydro and marine energy resources. Scotland accounts for 60% of the UK’s onshore wind farms.
The MP’S also noted that at least 21,000 people are employed in the Scottish renewables sector, and the number is expected to increase upon the completion of a high number of projects in the works.
“What our report finds is that we have a world class renewable energy sector in Scotland, which has grown significantly over the past few years by investment from both Westminster and Holyrood Government,” said Pete Wishart, the chairman of the Scottish Affairs Committee. “It's re-industrialising parts of Scotland, and it's a massive source of jobs and economic activity.”
The MPs agreed that the new policy changes were necessary but disagreed with the ad hoc manner in which they are being implemented.
“These early announcements will have a disastrous impact…on jobs and investment,” said Wishart. “We're asking the government to have a look at these plans once again and do more to support what is an incredibly successful sector.”
Stakeholders in Scotland will be hoping that Theresa May will take a more supportive stance to ensure that the industry’s growth momentum is maintained.
Published by Green Jobs Online - 26th July 2016