The membership of the increasingly wind-dominated Scottish Renewable trade association has fallen by 20% since the UK government announced its cut in subsidies for new onshore wind farms in May last year, while staff numbers have also been trimmed.
According to figures issued by the Glasgow-based company, it presently has 280 member companies across Scotland, compared to some 350 in its heyday during the contracts-for-difference subsidy bonanza around five years ago.
Overall, the industry still employs some 20,000 people in Scottish renewables. But employment figures area lagging data, so this figure may be set to fall in the next 12 months or so.
Meanwhile, new and/or sector-specific trade associations have sprung up in competition to Scottish Renewables – such as the Solar Trade Association Scotland and the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association – which also provide a range of corporate member services.
Coincidentally, the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association – which has around 100 members – is holding its two-day annual conference in St. Andrews at the end of this month. This year’s theme is Low Carbon Energy Systems with Hydrogen & Fuel Cells and will showcase the pivotal role for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in the development and deployment of low carbon integrated energy systems.
Key speakers include Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Secretary General of Hydrogen Europe, and Chris Stark, Director, Scottish Government Energy Team: see also; – http://www.shfca.org.uk/shfca-annual-conference/
At the same time, the Scottish Energy Association has refreshed its service to members and has – since its re-launch last year – scooped up a number of new (and high profile) members, including the UK Green Investment Bank, DONG Energy, the UK’s largest offshore wind generator, Glasgow University and a leading Scottish legal services supplier.
Scottish Energy Association volunteers to act as ‘honest broker’ advisor to UK Govt and energy sector over British Independence from EU-Bloc
Meanwhile, other Scottish renewable energy sectors have come to the fore – such as carbon-capture and storage, and tidal turbines.
Atlantis Resources’ Edinburgh-based MeyGen subsidiary is building one of the world’s largest underwater ‘power stations’ in the Pentland Firth and a further major announcement on construction progress is also due later this month in northern Scotland.
However, while the politics of subsidy-removal appear to have had a clear impact on Scottish Renewables, the N. Sea oil and gas sector trade association has also felt the economic effect of the crude price slump.
A spokesman for Aberdeen-based Oil and Gas UK said: “Although we have seen a slight reduction in membership – namely smaller companies who are more exposed to the economic pressure in the current climate – we will continue to support and represent the best interests of industry through this difficult period.
“We continue to support over 450 member companies.”
When budgets and/or corporate memberships are falling, the costs of providing membership services rise. However, by spanning the industry, Scottish Energy News can lower corporate costs and deliver un-beatable value for money. See also:
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