Scotland’s Independence White Paper: Maximising ongoing investment in renewable energy

Offshore wind energy needs Euro-billion investmentScotland is already a net exporter of electricity, with huge recent growth in the deployment of renewable generation.

Between January 2010 and April 2013, industry has announced £13.1 billion of investment with an associated 9,100 jobs.

Currently, more wave and tidal power devices are being tested in the waters off Scotland than in any other country in the world, with Europe’s largest tidal array having recently been consented in the Pentland Firth.

Following independence, Scottish renewable energy will continue to represent the most cost-effective means for the rest of the UK to meet its renewable ambitions.

The continuation of a system of shared support for renewables and capital costsof transmission among consumers in Scotland and the rest of the UK is a reasonable consideration for meeting the UK’s ongoing green commitments.

Regardless of its source, Scottish generation is now essential to ensuring the lights stay on across these islands. Without Scottish generation and Scottish renewable energy, the spare capacity margin across the GB grid would already be in negative figures.

Scotland’s energy future, in common with the rest of the world, lies in renewable energy. It is the responsibility of countries that have benefited from the production of hydrocarbons to lead the way in investing in a low carbon future.

In the long term, renewable energy represents a safer, more cost-effective means of electricity generation than the expensive nuclear plants that the Westminster Government favours.

The transition to renewable energy reduces our dependence on carbon-intensive fuels, and brings long-term stability to energy prices for consumers.

 As part of the planned Energy Partnership, the Scottish and Westminster Governments will have a shared objective to increase the deployment of renewable generation, requiring the continued support of consumers throughout these islands, as renewable energy competes with more established, higher carbon, forms of generation.

The planned continuation of a GB-wide market will ensure that Scotland’s renewable energy resources continue to support the low carbon ambitions of the rest of the UK – supplied at the cost-effective prices that Scottish renewables can offer.

Following independence, this Government will also introduce a leasing system for offshore and foreshore renewables, designed to increase investment and production while benefiting local communities, particularly in our island areas, replacing the Crown Estate Commissioners.

We will continue to support research and development on renewables and low carbon technologies. Measures on energy production will be complemented by

incentives for greater energy efficiency, through minimising energy demand and reducing energy bills, and through water efficiency, material and resource efficiency, reducing wastes and increasing productivity.

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Local Energy Matters: Scotland

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