EXCLUSIVE: New chief executive of Scottish Renewables ‘sits on the fence’ over on-shore fracking for shale gas

Claire Mack
Claire Mack

WORLD EXCLUSIVE by Scottish Energy News

The wind-ustry-dominated Scottish Renewable trade association has appointed Claire Mack as its new chief executive.

Currently Director of Policy at the Scottish Council Development and Industry, she spent 12 years at OFCOM, the communications regulator in the UK, latterly as regulatory affairs manager in telecoms, radio spectrum and postal services.

She graduated with a degree in media studies at Glasgow Caledonian University in 1997.

Patricia Hawthorn, Chairman of Scottish Renewables, said: “We are delighted that we have been able to identify such a strong and capable individual to be our chief executive.  

“We look forward to working with Claire and the wider team at this time of both major challenges and opportunities for Scotland’s renewable energy sector.”

Meanwhile, in its comment on earlier this month on the government’s Scottish Energy Strategy, SCDI said that the Scot-govt could be more explicit about the priority of maximising economic recovery of ‘domestic oil and gas’ to meet long-term demand and associated actions on skills and innovation.

 This refers – only – to Scottish offshore oil and gas in the North Sea.

 Opinion on onshore oil and gas – ie fracking for shale gas – is divided within SCDI.

 It was unable to come to a consensus over shale gas and so instead chose not submit a response to the separate Scot-govt non-evidence-based public consultation on Scottish shale.

Mack’s own views on shale gas are not known, but as head of policy at SCDI she will have been closely involved in the organisation’s decision to ‘sit on the fence’.

A Guide to Shale Gas - available from the Energy Institute
A Guide to Shale Gas – available from the Energy Institute

Elsewhere, SCDI generally supports the proposed integrated system-wide approach to long-term energy strategy that considers both the use and the supply of energy for heat, power and transport in the Scottish Energy Strategy, and added:

The final Scottish Energy Strategy could be clearer about the points at which decisions between different technologies will need to be taken and about interim targets against which to monitor progress

  • Grid-level energy storage technologies and Carbon Capture and Storage will be key in future energy systems and the Scottish Government should to continue to engage with the UK Government and industry on new approaches to develop them and offer viable routes to market
  • Options for the great challenge of renewable heat should be developed and considered, with a mix of technologies likely to be required – while hydrogen has significant potential, there are many issues which need to be addressed and it should not be regarded as a silver bullet

See also:

Scot-Govt. briefing note for secret meeting between Sturgeon and INEOS boss confirms that onshore shale gas exploration CAN be safely carried out



EXCLUSIVE: Scotland to miss out on hundreds of high-value new manufacturing jobs in fracking row as Grangemouth energy chief invests £100m to build the new 4×4 ‘Land Rover’




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