Patrick Harvie outlines energy opportunities for an independent Scotland

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Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party’s campaign for a Yes vote in the independence referendum, is highlighting the opportunities for Scotland to make the most of its renewable energy potential.

Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow and Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, will today (30 June) take part in a Question and Answer session for members of industry body Scottish Renewables.

A Green Yes briefing on jobs points out that more than 11,000 people are already employed in the renewables industry and most firms are expecting to grow. Scotland has the offshore engineering skills to make marine renewables a success and create thousands more jobs in construction, grid development and research.

Yesterday a leading group of academics called for Scotland to control energy policy to escape Westminster’s backing for “bankrupt” nuclear power.

Expert analysis of UK government policy decisions on nuclear has also suggested that Scottish consumers could face lower prices under independence.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“Scotland’s burgeoning renewable energy industry would benefit from a Yes vote in September. Investment in the sector is already being put at risk by Westminster’s pursuit of new nuclear plants and fracking.

“Crucially, a Yes vote would give the Scottish Parliament the ability to decentralise ownership of the land and infrastructure that renewable energy depends on, spreading the economic benefits of this growing industry throughout society. By also investing in demand reduction, we could tackle the eyewatering costs that consumers have faced as Westminster governments have dithered over our energy future.

“Our vision for growth in renewables means highly-skilled well-paid long-term jobs. Those campaigning for a No vote are not offering to devolve responsibility for energy, so we’d still be saddled with the costs of nuclear decommissioning and its toxic legacy.”