Subsidy Cuts ‘Putting Future of Scotland’s Renewable Energy Industry At Risk’

July 25, 2016

Cuts to subsidies for renewable energy schemes could put the industry’s future prospects and thousands of jobs in Scotland at risk.

That’s according to a committee of MPs who have published a report on the subject and raised concerns that a lack of financial backing could be seriously damaging for the renewable energy industry across the UK and particularly in Scotland.

A total of more than 20,000 people in Scotland are employed within green energy sectors but the UK government has recently closed a number of schemes which support growth within the industry.

According to MPs who make up the Scottish Affairs Committee, these cut backs will have a “disproportionate impact” on Scotland, where renewable energy has been a significant growth industry in recent years.

“We have urged the government to clarify the future ­support which will be available to the renewable sector, and set out how they will work with the Scottish government to develop a clear, long-term plan that will allow renewable energy to remain a central part of the energy mix,” said Pete Wishart, chairman of the committee.

Wishart also suggested that the government’s decision to cut the scale of its funding for renewable energy companies has undermined confidence in the industry among potential and active investors.

Responding to the publication of the recent report, the renewables industry’s trade body Scottish Renewables has said that a long term plan for collaboration between the Scottish and UK governments is much needed if the green energy sector is to be properly supported.

“The committee has highlighted the very real and bruising impacts of the sudden cuts and changes made to renewable energy policy in the last year,” said Jenny Hogan, director of policy at Scottish Renewables.

“What the report illustrates is the lack of – and pressing need for – a long-term plan not just for how we develop renewables and meet our climate change targets, but for our energy sector as a whole.”

Job losses within Scotland’s renewable energy sector would add to the woes of the broader energy industry which has been struggling for growth for the past several quarters.

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