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23/02/14 00:01

A new Energy Department for Scotland

Co-Headquartered in Aberdeen and Glasgow following independence.

The new Energy Department for an independent Scotland will be co-headquartered in Aberdeen and Glasgow, First Minister Alex Salmond announced today.

The First Minister said that the new department, which will have an estimated staff of around 300 across both centres, would capitalise on the expertise of oil and gas in Aberdeen and Glasgow’s influential position as a low carbon engineering centre.

Scotland’s Future outlines how the benefits for the energy sector in an independent Scotland could be maximised - providing the opportunity to use our energy resources to grow a dynamic Scottish energy sector and specialising in Scotland’s areas of competitive advantage.

Independence will allow Scotland to maximise the benefits of its energy wealth, supporting employment and economic growth.

First Minister Alex Salmond said:

“Independence presents an unrivalled opportunity to boost our energy wealth, support employment and grow our economy.

“A new Energy Department for Scotland co-headquartered between Aberdeen and Glasgow will capitalise on existing knowledge and expertise; building an effective, efficient and world leading energy industry.

“These locations connect our two main centres of energy expertise, bringing our academic institutions and industry together.

“Aberdeen is Europe’s oil and gas capital and its importance in the global market is undisputed, making it the natural home for a new Energy Department. It is also a vital and growing centre for the development of marine energy.

“At the same time, Glasgow is fast becoming the most influential low carbon engineering centre in UK; its proximity to electricity and gas supply industries and the renewables industry is crucial to ensuring we have the right expertise in the right place, especially in relation to the development of offshore wind in Scotland.

“With independence we would have new powers in areas such as energy regulation and the ability to target and apply financial incentives. With a new Scottish based Energy Department and control over key economic levers, the potential to boost the energy industry and bring benefits to consumers and the wider economy would be enormous.

“I wholeheartedly agree with Sir Ian Wood’s recommendation that a new regulator for the North Sea should be created. That regulator should be in Aberdeen. This would create the right conditions for a close, constructive and effective relationship to be forged between central government in Scotland, the North Sea regulator, and the industry.

“This model of government mirrors that which has been so successful in Norway, and represents an opportunity to begin to realise the full potential of the oil and gas industry in Scotland.”