31 October 2012
The new UK Energy Minister John Hayes and the First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond have highlighted the enormous economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy, in speeches at RenewableUK’s annual conference in Glasgow.
Mr Salmond announced a new target of generating the equivalent of 50% of Scotland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2015, on the way to the SNP’s target of 100% by 2020.
The First Minister told hundreds of delegates at the wind,wave and tidal industry’s conference that renewable energy offers a “massive economic opportunity for Scotland”. He said it has “the potential to bring about the reindustrialisation of the Scottish coastline”.
Mr Salmond highlighted what he described as the “massive potential for Scotland’s wave and tidal industry – with more devices tested in Scotland than the rest of the world put together”, saying this would bring “huge benefits in terms of jobs and energy generation”.
Speaking to RenewableUK conference delegates for the first time, the new Energy Minister John Hayes made it clear that Government was determined to offer support to renewables in the forthcoming Energy Bill, which includes wide-ranging Electricity Market Reform. He recognised the “need for sufficient certainty to invest in the future” and stated that “clarity can only be provided by Government creating the right kind of framework”, and that “the Government is absolutely committed to taking the long term view”..
Mr Hayes also said that “renewables matter in the energy mix”, and that it was important to “support a range of renewable technologies, particularly those at the cutting edge”.
RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive Maf Smith said:
“The wind industry welcomes Mr Hayes’ long term commitment to developing renewable energy, and his reassurance that Government will provide stability, certainty and clarity – these are exactly the outcomes the industry wants from the Energy Bill which will be published next month. Industry has been consistent with Government about its need for clarity on Government’s direction. Without this, much-needed investment will not materialise, which can only harm the UK’s economic recovery”.
“Mr Salmond’s vision of revitalised industries in Scotland, and his recognition of the potential of the wave and tidal sector, demonstrate again his commitment to renewables. His announcement of a new interim target for electricity from renewable sources in Scotland shows enormous confidence in the sector”.
More details of RenewableUK 2012 can be found here: http://www.renewable-uk.com/events/annual-conference/