As a result, GMB Scotland has urged the new Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work , Keith Brown MSP, to undertake an urgent review of the Scottish Government’s energy policy and to bring forward an industrial strategy for job creation across the wider energy sector.
GMB Scotland has been frustrated by the previous Scottish Government’s reluctance to re-evaluate its energy policies, including the future role of fracking and nuclear power, while thousands of oil, gas and coal jobs were lost across the Scottish economy in 2015-16.
The oil price crisis has turned the debate over Scotland’s energy future and security of supply on its head, while contributing significantly to our sluggish economic growth and above average unemployment – which the ONS confirmed has increased by 8,000 between January and March to 169,000.
Gary Smith, Secretary, GMB Scotland, said: “The Scottish political establishment has not been honest about the hard choices we face over our energy future or with regards to employment in the sector more widely.
“The North Sea is in rapid decline: coal fired power is over; and we are stretching the lifespans of the Scottish nuclear power stations at Hunterston and Torness, while the Scottish government would rather the fracking debate goes away as we haemorrhage skilled jobs at an alarming rate.
“Renewables alone cannot plug these gaps while Danish-built wind turbines, delivered by Dutch barges, connected by Chinese cables, with profits pocketed by private equity funds will do little to meaningfully boost jobs, skills, growth or the redistribution of wealth.
“It is also a most inconvenient truth that our homes and manufacturing base are increasingly reliant on cheap imported gas from the likes of Russia and Qatar – we are not the self-sustaining energy nation the Scottish government would like us to believe.
“We will be writing to the new Cabinet Secretary urging him to recognise these realities and to bring forward a fresh energy policy that delivers affordability, balance and security, while ensuring people here in Scotland benefit from both the economic and employment dividends.”
A veritable galaxy of star renewable energy speakers are taking part at SCOTLAND’S RENEWABLE FUTURES, which will be chaired by Jeremy Peat, OBE (pictured below left) former Chief Economist at the Royal Bank.
In addition to the experts from the Scottish renewable industry, Ross Thomson – a newly-elected Member of the Scottish Parliament (Tory, North East Scotland, below) will be taking part in Scotland’s Renewable Question Time panel debate.
Feel the quality of the speaker programme for SCOTLAND’S RENEWABLE FUTURE conference at Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Capture on 26 May 2016 (just up Holyrood Road from.. Holyrood/ Scottish Parliament) at: http://www.scotlandsrenewablefuture.co.uk/
What you SAY and what you HEAR at SCOTLAND’S RENEWABLE FUTURE will also be heard loud and clear by Scotland’s Holyrood MPs (as well as our Westminster MPs), etc – in the day and daily reports published Scottish Energy News.
No other energy conference in Scotland can provide this detailed, targeted and daily delivery of market- sensitive, industry-developments to opinion-formers in Holyrood, Westminster, Brussels – and internationally;
See also: 12 May 2016: –
Online readership hits record high of 16,000 unique web visitors at Scottish Energy News