A Scottish MP contrasted the different approaches of the Westminster and Holyrood government’s to energy policy in their jurisdictions.
Speaking at the Scottish Energy Association annual conference in Glasgow, Alan Brown, SNP MP for Kilmarnock, said: “As we know, the Scottish Government is consulting on an energy strategy.
“This shows a willingness to listen and to build on what has already been achieved
“The <Scottish Energy Strategy> consultation aims to reach out to groups and organisations to deliver a secure, sustainable energy future for all, in the best interests of our communities, our economy and our environment, and under-pin our desire to build a strong, low-carbon economy.
“However, not only do we, and the Scottish Government, need the assistance, co-operation and innovation of people like you (ie delegates at the Scottish Energy Association conference), we also need greater co-operation and understanding from the UK Government.
“In a number of speeches I have made at Westminster, I have railed against what I see as a lack of strategic thinking across departments, and it is no surprise to see the <Westminster> Scottish Affairs Committee criticise the UK Govt’s ad-hoc approach to energy while recognising the important of the industry to Scotland and Scotland’s wider role with in the UK.
“But, for me, even as a consultation document it <the UK Govt’s draft Business and Energy Strategy> is too light on detail, focussing on just a few themes:
- Electric vehicles and the need to upgrade the grid accordingly
- Smart meters – the solution to all problems
- Business energy costs – which I agree need to be more competitive – and I welcome the commitment to a 2017 ‘road map’ to minimise business costs’.
“And although ‘Delivering Affordable Energy and Clean Growth’ is one of the 10 pillars of the UK govt draft business and energy strategy, the actual section in the document amounts to just three pages of text, some bullet points and just four questions listed for consultation.
“I make these points to again illustrate the importance of cross-department co-ordination and action.”
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