Scottish renewables chief regrets election defeat of former UK energy minister

Paul McCullagh, Chief Executive, Urban Wind
Paul McCullagh, Chief Executive, Urban Wind

In one of the first comments from the energy sector on the outcome of the UK general election, a Scottish renewables chief has expressed regret at the defeat of former Energy minister Ed Davey.

Davey, was the defeated LibDem candidate for Kingston, Surrey, where the seat was won by the Conservatives. He had served in the coalition government for three years as energy minister.

Paul McCullagh, Chief Executive of Glasgow-based UrbanWind, said: Many in the onshore wind industry will be concerned at this outcome, with the loss of a Liberal Democrat voice tempering the hard-line Conservative approach to the industry.

We would urge the new Government to declare its hand over wind energy, giving the sector the clear and unequivocal support that it needs to flourish.

It is imperative that the Prime Minister avoids a continuation of the sometimes confusing and inconsistent approach to the technology we experienced under the previous government.

“It is a time for progression, rather than stifling the growth of onshore wind energy across the board, unhelpfully lumping all types of projects together into the category of ‘wind farms’.

“Wind energy, of which distributed wind plays a key and distinctive part, is on course to become the cheapest and greenest form of energy generation in Britain, and the Government needs to act decisively by demonstrating strong support and ending the ongoing confusion which has dogged the industry.

“We were sad to see former Energy Secretary Ed Davey lose his seat, as he has been a leading and influential advocate for wind energy and renewables as a whole, and has championed the industry throughout his tenure.

“It is crucial that the new Energy Secretary continues to show their support, allowing the industry to produce cheap and plentiful green energy, as well as playing a key role in reducing the UK’s carbon footprint.”

Re-elected prime minister David Cameron is expected to announce the new UK energy minister – and other cabinet appointments – this week.

Meanwhile, David Nussbaum, Chief Executive, WWF UK, commented: “The Conservative manifesto contained some strong proposals to protect our natural resources and put Britain on course for more sustainable growth, including the promise of leadership on climate change, a 25 year plan for nature’s recovery and pledges on tackling illegal wildlife trade and poaching around the world. 

 “The new administration must demonstrate that these pledges were more than ink on paper, and that they will be taken forward quickly.”


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