The UK Government is thinking about paying for renewable energy projects abroad in order to meet targets – after slashing support in Scotland. While about half of Scotland's energy comes from renewable, the figure down south is about 6 percent, so the Government is rather embarrassed by its failures.
The response is that, rather than helping Scotland to raise the target overall, the UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd prefers to make up the gap by supporting renewable energy projects in other EU countires.
It's a bit rich. Withdraw support to help renewables in Scotland so as to go and pay it elsewhere. There will be an end to UK Government support for onshore wind next year and Westminster is consulting on cuts to solar energy generation.
Ms. Rudd has also been accused of misleading Parliament after the leaked letter contradicted assurances she had made to the House of Commons that the UK was on course to meet its renewables targets.
Given the sustained attack from the Tory government on the renewables industry, it comes as no surprise that the UK Government will fall short of its obligations on renewable energy. But I am absolutely staggered that they are considering supporting projects overseas while cutting vital support here in Scotland.
Scotland is leading the way on green energy – figures show that almost half of the electricity used in Scotland in 2014 was generated from renewables. Yet Tory cuts to support for the sector could see a £3 billion loss of investment in Scotland and put more than 5,000 jobs at risk.
Through its wrong-headed and ideologically driven cuts agenda, Tory Ministers are putting at risk jobs and investment in a key growth sector in Scotland. But even the suggestion that they could now pay for renewables projects abroad in order to meet targets shows that their energy policy has descended into farce.
Instead of discussing half-baked plans to support renewables projects overseas, the UK Government should immediately abandon its deeply damaging cuts to renewables support.
It'll come as no surprise that the letter doesn't even mention Scotland, let alone our leading edge position in alternative energy. It's worth a read! It was reported in the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/09/energy-minister-expects-uk-to-miss-renewables-target-leaked-letter-shows
The full text of the letter can be found here: http://www.theecologist.org/_download/398023/amber%20rudd%20letters%20ecologist.pdf