The SNP has criticised Prime Minister Theresa May for playing musical chairs and not giving due priority to the role of Energy Minister, now occupied by Claire Perry, MP, after the latest Brit-Govt. Cabinet reshuffle – putting the energy industry back to square one with no clues as to what the UK government will do next.
Commenting, Gillian Martin MSP said: “The UK government has now appointed its 20th Energy Minister in just 20 years – showing complete indifference towards jobs in a vital business sector for Scotland.
“No sooner has a Tory energy minster got their feet under the desk, than they’re shoved out the revolving door by Theresa May and replaced by yet another new face.
“In the North Sea oil and gas sector – and also in renewables and throughout the energy supply chain – people in these industries crave consistency – yet it is clear that the Tories cannot provide this from Westminster.
“If Theresa May and the Tories continue to insist on making a mess of energy policy, it becomes ever clearer why Scotland needs to have full powers over this vital industry. It’s simply too important for us not to.”
Meanwhile, 2017 was a landmark year for the Scottish renewable offshore wind sector.
Beatrice – one of the largest private infrastructure projects ever developed in Scotland – is under construction, while the world’s first floating wind farm, Statoil’s Hywind, is now a reality off the coast of Peterhead.
However, the prospects in England are not so rosy.
The Conservatives’ ban on onshore windfarms south of the border competing for subsidies means the sector’s future prospects are very limited, according to Renewable UK.
The trade body expects new capacity installation to fall to 0.94 GW this year and 0.37 GW next year.
A spokesman said: “Investment made since 2015 has delivered record new capacity and made onshore wind the cheapest form of power.
“But the <British> government’s current policy means that we are missing out on future onshore wind development, and consumers are missing out on a return on their investment through lower electricity price”.
23 Jan 2018