Scottish Renewables chief warns against devolution of UK energy market regulation to Holyrood

Holyrood logoBy DARA BUTTERFIELD

MSPs Jim Eadie (SNP) and Sarah Boyack (Labour) have been re-appointed as co-conveners of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SPREEE) at its annual meeting in Holyrood.

Liam McArthur, MSP, is to continue as the Deputy Convener and Gavin Donoghue was re-appointed as SPREEE treasurer and Group Secretary (Renewable Energy).

Elizabeth Leighton from the Energy Saving Trust was re-appointed as SPREEE Secretary for Energy Efficiency.

Afterwards, MSPs heard presentations from Dr Andy Kerr, Executive Director, Edinburgh Centre of Carbon Innovation, and Niall Stuart, Chief Exectutive, Scottish Renewables.

Kerr – who spoke on the subject of ‘Where next for energy efficiency?’ –  highlighted a mismatch between policy-formers’ expectations of peoples’ behaviour and the way people actually behave.  

Kerr emphasised the need to measure the benefits of energy-efficiency ‘beyond the financial and environmental gains’ and said that the Scottish Parliament needs to reframe the discussion, create an environment where people value energy efficiency personally, effectively measure the true gains of efficiency, and create local energy systems.

The first three of which, he said, did not require any further powers from Westminster.

Meanwhile, Stuart talked on the topic of Where next for renewables?and cautioned that both renewable heat and renewable transport energy was worryingly low at around 3%.

He talked about how a single energy market was key to the success of renewables and warned that calls from the Scottish Government for a separate CfD regime ‘could threaten that single market’.

He emphasised that it would be difficult to operate a single UK energy market with further devolved powers on energy for Scotland and called for all devolved nations to work closely with the UK government going forward.

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