UK government must offer ‘meaningful support’ to Scottish renewables

The Scottish Affairs Committee is “disappointed” the UK government “has not recognised the uncertainty felt in the renewable sector”, or provided “meaningful support and reassurance”.

The committee has published the UK government’s response to the renewable energy in Scotland report, which came out in July.

Committee chair Pete Wishart said: “The government’s response to our report shows a worrying complacency. They are right to recognise the strong performance of Scotland’s renewable sector, but they have not responded to the voices of those in the industry who have told us that they are facing an uncertain future.”

In the report, published earlier this year, the committee noted that the removal of subsidies had affected confidence in the long-term viability of plants and technological development. The removal of subsidies for onshore wind, one of cheapest renewable sources, without consultation with the industry or Scottish government was “particularly troubling”.

Wishart said: “We are told that everything is fine, but where are the reassurances to the renewable sector that the support will be there to encourage the development of new plants and new technologies? Where is the investment in infrastructure?

“They have provided us with a tacit admission that they think onshore wind has reached its limit, let us hope that is not their view of the industry as a whole.

“Scotland has been way ahead of the rest of the United Kingdom when it comes to renewable energy. The government should be celebrating this and doing everything it can to ensure this success continues into the future, not cutting support and reducing confidence.

“We urge them to do more to work with representatives of the industry and the Scottish government as they develop future plans.”

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BDC 305 Jun 2023