Ewing hits out at DECC’s FID plans – offshore wind decision must be reversed

FE
Fergus Ewing

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has criticised the UK Government for removing all planned Scottish offshore wind farms from their list of 10 projects which will get a FID (Final Investment Decision) contract, and has called on the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change to reverse their decision before the finalisation of their plans in March next year.

Mr Ewing will now write to Secretary of State Ed Davey to urge him to reverse the decision on the FID enabling plans.

The announcement follows the publication of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s figures this morning which revealed renewables met a record-breaking 40.3 per cent of gross electricity consumption in Scotland in 2012, confirming that Scotland is on track to meet its interim target of 50 per cent by 2015.

Commenting Mr Ewing said:

“The UK Government’s announcement yesterday (Thursday) has serious implications for Scotland’s ability to release the power of offshore wind, and increases uncertainty for both developers and investors.

“However there is still the opportunity for Scottish projects to be included in the final list of projects by DECC, and we will be arguing that instead of putting barriers in the way of Scottish offshore wind deployment the UK Government should be providing support. We believe the Scottish projects have a strong case for being included in the FID enabling plan.

“Scotland is leading the development of an exciting, new renewables industry. Developing a new industry is challenging under any circumstances, but the UK Government is increasing those challenges.

“They should be supporting the release of our green energy potential instead of being hell-bent on ploughing billions into nuclear power stations – which restricts the funds available to support renewables – as the ESRC funded study conducted by academics from Cardiff University, University of Birmingham, Queens University Belfast and Robert Gordon University made clear earlier this month.“

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