Scottish Energy Minister to explore ‘Energy after the Referendum’ at RGU

The Scottish Government’s Minister for Energy Economy and Tourism Fergus Ewing will speak at a conference at Robert Gordon University (RGU) considering the future of energy In Scotland after the Referendum.   

geared for goldEnergy after the Referendum will explore how more energy powers for Scotland can increase Scottish influence over renewable energy, anti-fuel poverty measures and consumer electricity prices. The possibly of establishing a Scottish Energy Regulator will be discussed, as well as the challenges and opportunities surrounding future investment in oil and gas.

The event has been organised by Professor Peter Strachan, Strategy and Policy Group Lead within the Department of Management at RGU, and Dr David Toke, a Reader in Energy Politics at Aberdeen University.

Professor Strachan said:

“It is a complete disgrace that despite being one of the most energy rich countries in the world, far too many people in Scotland are still affected by fuel poverty. Following the recent outcome of the referendum Scotland requires more powers to bring down electricity bills and to introduce far reaching energy efficiency measures.

“Scottish electricity is the most secure and reliable supply available, with Scotland exporting a large surplus to the rest of the United Kingdom. The recent news that the two EDF-owned nuclear power stations at Heysham 1 and Hartlepool in Lancashire are to stay closed until the end of the year, is an illustration of the fragility of UK supplies.”

Oil RigDr David Toke, who will make a call at the event for the Scottish Government to be given control over a substantial proportion of money allocated by Westminster to fund renewable energy, said:

“Scottish and Westminster energy policies diverge, with Westminster wanting to give money for new nuclear power whilst Scotland wants to focus on renewable energy.

“Scotland needs to be insulated from Conservative plans to dictate what low carbon energy sources should be allowed in Scotland. The Scottish Government needs to be given control over spending a sizeable proportion of funds earmarked by the Treasury for spending on renewable energy.

“In addition a Scottish Energy regulator should be established that could allow grid upgrades to be implemented more speedily to help community renewable schemes.”

Energy experts including; Fergus Ewing, Minister for Economy, Energy and Tourism for the Scottish Government; Andrew Faulk, former Senior Policy Advocate at Scottish Consumer Focus; Roger Cook , Research Director at the Scotland Institute and Martyn Tulloch, of Tulloch Energy, will also speak at the conference followed by a round table discussion.

Organised by the Institute for Management, Governance and Society (IMaGeS) at RGU and the School of Social Science at the University of Aberdeen, the event will take place on October 1 from 12.30pm to 4.30pm at RGU’s Riverside East building in room N345.

Pictured is Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Energy Economy and Tourism

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