Scots Energy Minister warns that UK Energy Bill could harm Scottish renewables

Fergus Ewing, Scottish Energy Minister
Fergus Ewing, Scottish Energy Minister

In a statement to Parliament today, Scotland’s Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing said that the UK Government’s Electricity Market Reform process is at risk of failing Scotland, and raised specific concerns about the UK Government plans to restrict Scotland’s powers over the Renewables Obligation.

He said that Electricity Market Reform (EMR) proposals could undermine Scotland’s renewables sector and supply chain, while threatening security of supply across the UK, resulting in further price increases for consumers.

Ewing told MSPs; “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.

“At the start of this month I called on Secretary of State Ed Davey to justify his decision to amend the Energy Bill and give UK Ministers the power to close the Renewables Obligation in Scotland – without any prior consultation with Scottish ministers or the Scottish Parliament.

“Since 2001, successive Scottish Governments and Parliaments have used devolved powers under the Renewables Obligation to advance renewable generation across Scotland.

“To make matters worse, it is also clear that the UK Government’s proposals under Electricity Market Reform, which will replace the Renewables Obligation, are failing to deliver.

“Developments ranging from small hydro stations and innovative projects in our islands, to floating offshore wind, carbon capture technology and vital stations such as Longannet – all of these are placed at risk by the UK Government’s reforms.

“The UK Government must listen to the concerns raised by industry that would see EMR failing in its objectives. The Scottish Government will not support an outcome which sacrifices our renewable ambitions in preference to discredited, expensive and imported nuclear technology. “

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