Carmichael urged to confirm UK support for offshore renewables

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The UK Government has faced criticism, after experts made clear that its lack of support for Scotland’s renewable energy industry was putting jobs and investment at risk.

It has been reported that SSE is considering pulling out of existing commitments in the Firth of Forth, North Ayrshire and the Moray Firth, after the UK Government failed to provide support for other renewables projects, while continuing to direct support at nuclear technology.

This threat to Scotland’s renewables industry comes on the back of a report which showed that employment in the industry has soared to at least 11,695, demonstrating its importance to the wider Scottish economy.

Caithness, Sutherland and Ross MSP Rob Gibson said:

“This is yet another example of the UK Government’s dithering attitude to Scotland’s offshore renewables industry, which is putting jobs and investment at risk.

“Over 11,000 people in Scotland are employed in renewables, which only highlights the extent of the risk to Scotland’s economy from Westminster’s attitude.

“The fact that the UK Government continues to direct its support at nuclear power is bewildering. Energy generated from Scottish renewables will continue to represent the most cost-effective way for the rest of the UK to meet its renewables ambitions and will be crucial in keeping the lights on across the UK in the years ahead.

“The Scottish Government has demonstrated its clear commitment to Scotland’s offshore renewables industry and will work with SSE on these projects.  It is up to Alistair Carmichael to use whatever influence he has to convince the UK Government to do the same and protect Scottish jobs and investment.”