British Government ministers Jesse Norman and Lord Andrew Dunlop visited Glasgow University’s science department to explain how the strategy will benefit Scotland.
With a clear ambition of creating an economy that ‘works for everyone’, the Green Paper contains a number of proposed announcements set to benefit Scotland, including:
The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and foundation of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), creating new opportunities for Scotland’s world class universities and research institutions to bid for UK Government funding.
Opportunities for entire sectors to propose new ways of working with different levels of Government to create the conditions for success, building on the success of City Deals in Scotland
Looking beyond current commitments to support the development of the offshore wind industry in Scotland as well as supporting research into cost effective new renewable technologies
The document will seek views from people in Scotland on how the UK Government can refine its vision to help the UK economy meet future challenges and opportunities.
MP Jesse Norman, British Energy and Industry Minister, said: “Scotland makes a huge contribution to the UK’s economy, cementing it as the fifth largest worldwide. The Government’s new Industrial Strategy is designed to build on Scotland’s economic strengths within the UK as a whole, creating more opportunities, prosperity and jobs.
“The birthplace of Adam Smith and David Hume, Scotland has huge economic strengths, including in financial services, life sciences, higher education and research, quantum technologies and advanced manufacturing. We believe that a really effective Industrial Strategy needs to build on those capabilities, and help create new ones. “
Key work-areas in the government’s new energy and industry strategy include; –
Developing skills; building a new system of technical education to benefit the half of young people who do not go to university; boosting STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills.
Delivering affordable energy and clean growth; need to keep costs down for businesses, and secure the economic benefits of the transition to a low carbon economy.
The UK Government is asking industries, businesses and local groups to visit the GOV.UK website and respond to a series of questions on each of these pillars and give their views on the priorities for a modern Industrial Strategy.
A spokesman for the UK-wide Renewable Energy Association, added: “We welcome the emphasis on capturing the economic benefits of moving towards a low-carbon energy system, especially the support laid out for energy storage and electric vehicles, two areas where the UK can be global leaders.
“We also hope a focus on reducing energy costs will mean more supportive policies for onshore wind and solar which are now the cheapest forms of energy generation, yet are facing a block to market through current government policy.”
Paul Barwell, Chief Executive of the Solar Trade Association, commented: “Solar is key to both the smart energy industrial opportunity and to cost-effective decarbonisation. Indeed, BEIS’ own projections have solar as one of the cheapest forms of clean electricity by 2020.
“There is now an international expectation that solar will form the backbone of clean power systems in future.
“We look forward to working with BEIS to remove the needless UK barriers that prevent solar making the exceptional contribution that it can to a competitive, modern economy.”
Meanwhile, the Scot-Govt. is due to publish its new Scottish Energy Strategy tomorrow (24 Jan 2017) in a statement to MPs in Holyrood by the Scottish Energy Minister.
See also: New Scot-Govt. climate-change plan: