By a Newsnet reporter
World leading energy company Global Energy Group has applauded the Scottish Government’s role in attracting major investment into Scotland’s renewable industry.
The Chairman of the Scottish based firm, with offices in a number of international locations, said the SNP Government’s commitment to renewable energy has been key in “providing Scotland with a historic opportunity”.
In a letter to the Press and Journal newspaper, Roy McGregor – whose firm Global Energy is bringing 2000 jobs to Easter Ross through the company’s purchase of the Nigg fabrication plant – added:
“Investment is happening in full knowledge of the Scottish Government’s planned referendum – and renewables are being deployed in part thanks to the First Minister, who has demonstrated the vision and ambition that investors want to see.”
Caithness, Sutherland and Ross SNP MSP Rob Gibson welcomed Mr McGregor’s support for the government’s efforts.
He said: “Mr MacGregor is a leading light in business and justifiably has a positive outlook on Scotland’s future, I welcome his analysis.
“Renewable energy is an infinite asset for Scotland and one which this SNP Government is determined to see prosper.
“Scotland’s renewable industries are in full flight. The SNP’s commitment to renewable energy is recognised around the world and with £750m invested in the last 12 months and plans for £48 billion more from the industry Scotland is leading the renewables revolution.”
Mr McGregor’s comments follow a report from a London based financial firm Citigroup that urged companies not to invest in Scotland’s renewable energy sector whilst a referendum on independence was still outstanding.
The report was seized on by Unionist politicians who joined forces to condemn the Scottish government’s renewable plans. Labour claimed that the SNP’s green-energy plans were damaging the Scottish economy.
However figures released by Scottish Renewables pointed to three quarters of a billion pounds already invested in the sector. In a statement released by the body they urged politics be put to one side and said
” … the facts are that the Scottish renewables industry has invested more than £750 million over the last 12 months, with industry plans for the future totalling £46 billion of capital investment … “
Scottish Renewables dismissed suggestions that the referendum was having an impact on investment and claimed that some of the obstacles to investment currently lay with the UK government, they added:
“… engagement with our members has identified uncertainty over market reform, grid connections and charges, and planning decisions as the main threats to these investments, rather than the wider political debate.”
The references to grid connections reflect the disparity over charging that has led to Scottish based firms having to pay to connect, whilst their English based counterparts receive a subsidy.
Energy watchdog Ofgem is currently looking into reforming the system that has been described as discriminatory.