Speaking in the committee which is currently considering the UK government’s Energy Bill Angus MP Mike Weir has called upon the UK government to put a decarbonisation target in the bill to give a clear signal not only of an intention to reduce emissions and tackle climate change but also to investors that there is a long term commitment to renewable energy.
Mr Weir pointed out that all the evidence suggested that investors were nervous that it was not clear that there was a commitment beyond 2020 and that this could lead to the drying up of investment in new renewables.
He commented: There is, at best, a mixed message coming from the UK government as to how they intend to proceed with the decarbonisation of energy, and that mixed message could be very harmful indeed to our efforts to attract not only new renewable generation but , crucially, the supply chain that will ensure that we reap the economic benefits and jobs that can come with it.
“I would cite the example of offshore wind which I believe has a strong vibrant future. There are plans to install up to 10gw of capacity in Scottish waters over the next decade including three projects off the coast of Angus.
“Many more sites are being looked at for deployment in the 2020s, alongside commercial wave and tidal generation. We must ensure that we send a clear and unambiguous message that we want these developments and we will continue to push the decarbonisation of our energy sector.”
The government majority on the committee rejected the amendments but it is likely that they will be considered again on the report stage of the bill.
Commenting afterwards Mr Weir contrasted the actions of the UK government with that of the Scottish Government. He said: “The Scottish Government have committed to a 2030 target to give a clear and unequivocal signal that we intend to pursue clean, green energy and this has been widely welcomed by industry, investors and environmental groups.”
“Angus could gain a huge economic boost from new green energy and the lack of a UK target will continue to create uncertainty.”