FM: UK energy policy needs Scottish voice
First Minister sets out key areas for energy action
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for a new approach to the UK’s relationship with Scotland on energy issues, with key decisions on energy policy made following a process of consultation and agreement with the Scottish Government.
The First Minister’s call came as industry experts met for the latest meeting of the Scottish Energy Advisory Board in Edinburgh, which is co-chaired by the First Minister and Professor Sir Jim McDonald of the University of Strathclyde.
Ms Sturgeon also set out a range of energy policy issues where the Scottish Government is looking for action from the newly elected Westminster Government. These are to:
- Provide reassurance that Westminster will not change subsidy arrangements for onshore wind without agreement from Scottish Ministers .
- Provide confidence to the offshore wind industry, ensuring there is sufficient budget to deliver the large-scale deployment and cost reduction seen in onshore wind.
- Consider all possible options to avert the premature closure of Longannet Power Station.
- Ensure an appropriate predictable and stable fiscal and regulatory environment for the oil and gas sector.
- Provide sufficient flexibility and visibility within the levy control framework to allow the renewables sector to invest with confidence and deliver further cost reductions for the long term benefit of consumers.
- Tackle the discrimination faced by Scottish generators on transmission charging beyond the limited redress offered by Project TransmiT and bolster incentives for new clean thermal generation in Scotland.
- Address concerns over small-scale Hydro Feed-In Tariff.
- Progress actions necessary to ensure delivery of island grid connections and ensure the necessary support is provided to take forward CCS and pump storage schemes.
Following the meeting the First Minister, said:
“It is imperative that over the course of the next Westminster Parliament that the UK Government implements policies that not only help deliver our energy needs but also reduce fuel poverty and cut carbon emissions.
“Scotland is an energy powerhouse but we have very limited powers on energy policy. That is why today I am calling on the UK to take a much more collegiate approach to policy-making on energy and ensure proper consultation with the Scottish Government on major areas of energy policy.
“Scotland is a resource rich country and it offers safe and secure supplies of energy and can continue to assist the rest of the UK in meeting its legally-binding renewable energy targets as well as help keep the lights on across these islands.
“Energy security is a crucial matter for everyone and making sure that we have the right kind of energy that not only looks after our needs going forward, but also looks after our planet is a key priority for the Scottish Government.
“We have achieved a great deal in the renewable field, however there is still much to do and Scotland’s natural potential makes it a cost-efficient place to develop renewable resources. We see a benefit to both Scotland and the rest of the UK in enabling this economically efficient development of renewable potential to continue.”
The Scottish Energy Advisory Board is a partnership between industry, Ministers and agencies and others, dedicated to understanding the issues facing the energy sector in Scotland and vocalising the Scottish view. The meetings are co-chaired between the First Minister and Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal, University of Strathclyde.