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Ex-Scottish Minister calls for 'urgent rethink' of UK Government energy policy

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Ex-Scottish Minister calls for ‘urgent rethink’ of UK Government energy policy

Speaking at the Scottish Highland Renewable Energy Conference (SHREC) last week, former Deputy First Minister Lord Stephen called for ‘an urgent rethink’ of UK Government energy policy.

The Ex-Minister said it was ‘crazy’ that the UK Government were favouring and prioritising subsidies for nuclear projects backed by foreign investment over initiatives and proposals in renewable energy throughout the UK.

Lord Stephen, who also served as Scotland’s former Energy Minister, said: “There are still a significant number of positive and innovative projects being proposed in the renewable sector – many involve a strong element of community ownership.

“This conference is yet another demonstration of the ingenuity and drive that exists within the local renewable industry – from developers, communities and the public agencies – to secure Scotland’s renewable future.”

“However, the unfortunate reality is that not enough of these projects will come to fruition unless the current UK government policy towards renewable energy is changed, and changed quickly.

“The government’s negative approach is not just in relation to onshore wind, but affects the likes of solar and hydro projects too.

“Many of these projects simply will not be viable with the extremely limited support now available, which pales in comparison to the huge Government subsidy being offered to the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

Lord Stephen referred to investments in Somerset’s notorious nuclear power station at Hinkley Point as “a crazy situation which subsidises huge French and Chinese nuclear investors, at the expense of small and medium size renewable projects in the Highlands and Islands.”

The SHREC conference saw some 1,000 delegates hear out Lord Stephen’s passionate proposals for changes to UK Government policy.