Scottish Renewables Welcomes Parliament’s Findings
Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy for Scottish Renewables, welcomed many of the Economy, Energy and Tourism committee’s findings. She said:
“This has been one of the most detailed and debated committee inquiries in the Scottish Parliament’s history and it has confirmed what we have said for some time; that the ambitious targets for the renewables industry are achievable.
“As we stated in our own evidence to the committee, there are a number of challenges ahead in terms of improving our grid network, increasing access to finance and strengthening the planning system.
“We welcome the recommendation to the Scottish and UK Governments to work with Ofgem and the renewables industry to ensure a fairer charging regime for projects in the islands to connect to the grid. Decisive action on this issue has been long overdue if we are to secure the future of Scotland’s wave and tidal industries.
“Planning remains a key issue and, like the commitee, we want to see a well-resourced, robust planning system, to address concerns over stretched planning departments.
“We are also glad that the independent committee concluded that there is ‘no empirical evidence which demonstrates that the tourism industry in Scotland will be adversely affected by the wider deployment of renewable energy projects, particularly onshore and offshore wind.’ However, we also support their recommendation for continued research in this area.
“We are pleased that the committee has highlighted renewable heat and the difficult challenges ahead to reach the 2020 targets. As heat accounts for over half of our energy use, we would like to have seen more detail on how technologies such as biomass, solar and heat pumps will play their part in Scotland’s energy mix, and how we may remove those barriers in the way of reducing our reliance on gas, coal and oil to heat our homes.
“The committee rightly concludes that renewable energy is not only crucial to reducing greenhouse gas emissions but is also good for energy security and protection against volatile energy prices.”
Press release, November 23, 2012; Image: scottishrenewables