ANGUS MACDONALD WELCOMES COMMITTEE REPORT CONFIRMING ACHIEVABILITY OF ENERGY TARGETS
Friday, 23 November 2012 16:14
Above: Angus MacDonald MSP with other members of the Scottish Parlaiment's Energy Committee visit Griffin Wind Farm in Northern Perthshire.
The publication of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee’s report on the achievability of the Scottish Government’s targets this morning has been welcomed by Falkirk East SNP MSP Angus MacDonald.
Angus MacDonald was part of the Scottish Parliament’s Energy Committee which looked at the achievability of the Scottish Government’s ambitious target of generating the equivalent of 100% of electricity demand from renewable sources by 2020 and concluded that the target can be achieved.
The report also calls upon the UK Government to end industry uncertainty on the future financial support available to the sector. The Westminster coalition is currently engaged in a much-publicised civil war on this issue which is causing increasing concern that potential investors are being driven away by the uncertainty it is causing.
Damningly the Committee’s report also identifies that plans to provide support to nuclear generation through Contracts for Difference represents a subsidy, which directly contradicts the UK Government’s coalition agreement that says new nuclear energy will only be constructed “provided that they receive no public subsidy”. The committee recommended that this proposal by the UK Government is reversed.
Commenting, Angus MacDonald MSP said:
“I was very pleased to be involved in this major committee enquiry, which has taken a number of months and taken evidence from a larger number of interested parties.”
“The SNP Government is leading the way when it comes to bringing renewables jobs and investment to Scotland, and our ambitious targets reflect that fact. Just this week Areva announced that it will bring its UK turbine manufacturing base to Scotland creating up to 750 jobs.
“Today’s report confirms that our target of generating the equivalent of 100% of electricity demand from renewables by 2020 as part of a broader energy mix is an achievable one.
“The report should also act as a wakeup call for the Westminster Government. It is long past time that they ended their internal conflict and confirmed what support the energy sector can expect so that investment decisions can be made with certainty.
“Just as importantly, the report makes clear that making new nuclear energy eligible for support through Contracts for Difference is in fact a subsidy and as such is completely at odds with the Westminster Government's coalition agreement.
“Westminster should heed the committee’s call and drop their plans to subsidise nuclear energy which can only come at the expense of funds that could be used to boost the renewables sector.”