McArthur: Both Scotland’s governments must do more on renewables

Scottish Liberal Democrat energy spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP used today’s debate on ‘Supporting Scotland’s Renewables’ to demand action from both of Scotland’s governments.

Under the Coalition government, between 2010 and 2015, Britain’s renewable power capacity trebled, with over £40bn invested into onshore and offshore wind farms, solar and biomass. However, Energy and Climate Change secretary Amber Rudd has announced sweeping cuts in support for renewables while also creating real uncertainty for island-based and marine renewables. 

Speaking after today’s debate, Mr McArthur said: 

“Since 2015, the Conservative government has seemed intent on undermining the UK’s hard-won progress on renewables made under the previous coalition. Sadly, Scottish Conservatives sought to legitimise this approach in today’s debate, ignoring the risks to our ability of achieving future emissions reduction targets and jobs growth.

“Locking wave and tidal energy out of support until 2021 at the earliest is hugely short-sighted. It also sends the worst possible message to developers, supply chain companies and investors. That is not the way to make energy policy, build confidence or secure investment in renewables. Instead it brings a loss of innovation, skills and expertise.  

“Instead the Scottish and UK governments should be busting a gut to support greater levels of innovation, including through finally delivering some actual benefit from the designation of Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters as a Marine Energy Park. 

“We need to achieve 50% of energy from renewables by 2030 yet at the moment on heat, which makes up half of our energy usage, current figures stand at 5%. That’s why we are calling on the Scottish government to deliver a Warm Homes Act  and a bold and ambitious climate change bill that meets Scotland’s energy needs for the future.”

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