UK Government criticised over energy uncertainty: oil, gas and renewables sector let down by Westminster

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Maureen Watt MSP, Aberdeen South and North Kincardine

In a further demonstration of Westminster’s attitude towards Scotland energy sector, the UK Government’s Energy Minister Michael Fallon claimed that the independence referendum could lead to a fall in investment in North Sea oil and gas, despite experts confirming that 2013 was a record year of investment, and it being previously made clear that the only uncertainty for the industry comes from Westminster’s poor stewardship of the fiscal regime in the North Sea.

Scottish Renewables intervention comes only days after SSE confirmed that it was considering pulling out of a number of renewables projects in Scotland, due to a lack of support from the UK Government.

Aberdeen South and North Kincardine MSP Maureen Watt said:

“The UK Government has repeatedly failed our energy industry and is completely failing to learn the lessons of the past.

“It has been well established that Westminster’s successive tax hikes on North Sea oil and gas have put the sector at a competitive disadvantage and cost Scotland valuable investment.

“Now they are doing the same to renewables – with Scottish Renewables highlighting the need for the UK Government to demonstrate its clear commitment to Scotland’s offshore renewable energy sector and provide certainty for the thousands of people employed in the industry.

“Scotland’s renewable energy industry has the potential to sustain as many as 40,000 jobs and can be worth up to £30bn for the Scottish economy, while there is around £1.5 trillion worth of oil left in the North Sea, and it is vital that this immense potential is not stifled by Westminster’s uncertainty.

“With independence, the Scottish Government will ensure a system of fiscal stability for our oil and gas industry and can prioritise investment in our offshore renewables industry, ensuring that our energy sector continues to go from strength to strength.”

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