Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today urged the Scottish Government to increase investment in renewable energy and look at measures to allow this to be exported to our allies in Europe, describing the proposals as a “win-win” which would help reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas and tackle the cost-of-living crisis by reducing energy bills.
Since becoming Scottish Liberal Democrat leader in August, Mr Cole-Hamilton has made offering new hope for the climate emergency his top priority.
Last week he pressed the First Minister over wind farm jackets being manufactured at the BiFab engineering yard in Fife which are now being built by workers from abroad due to a lack of trained staff here in Scotland.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“Scotland is fortunate that our location and our abundant natural resources mean that we do not rely heavily on imported oil and gas from Russia. Not all of our European allies are so lucky.
“We need a green industrial revolution to maximise the energy we generate from wind, tidal, even solar power. The more that we can export, the more we can reduce demand for Russian oil and gas.
“We should be investing in any project which offers a good chance of reducing domestic demand and expanding international supply. Not only would that offer a boost to our European allies looking to wean themselves off Putin’s supply, it would help hard-hit families struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
“From our islands which have a track record of being at the forefront of renewable energy innovation to the decades of offshore experience in the North East and the engineering yards of Fife and Glasgow, this is as close to a win-win opportunity as the Scottish Government are ever going to be offered.
“This week I pressed the First Minister over why the few renewables jobs we have are having to be filled by workers from abroad. We need a skilled and trained workforce to secure a pipeline of jobs.
“There is no good reason why Scotland cannot be the engine that powers Western Europe. The only thing that is holding us back is this government’s lack of vision and ambition.”