Renewables sector needs state support

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Open letter to Murdo Fraser, convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee

Over the last few years Scotland’s renewable energy sector has grown to become a major part of our energy mix and a significant contributor to our economy. The renewables industry now meets 35 per cent of Scotland’s annual demand for electricity and directly employs more than 11,000 people across the country.

The output from renewables is displacing fossil fuels for heat and power and therefore significantly reducing our carbon emissions.

We are writing to you to re-state our support for the growth of well-planned renewables – including wind power – in Scotland, and to highlight the contribution this industry will make in securing our economic and environmental future for generations to come:

• A stronger economy with hundreds of millions of pounds invested in Scotland each year

• Lower unemployment with thousands of highly paid and highly skilled jobs across the country

• A more highly skilled workforce with the industry continuing to invest in skills, training and education of the next generation of engineers, technicians and scientists – the people who will power the growth of our economy

• An internationally recognised hub of expertise in research, design and innovation in our universities and colleges

• Reduced pollution and carbon emissions, with Scotland playing a lead role in UK and European efforts to tackle climate change

• Setting world standards for best practice in aspects of renewable energy development

• Greater energy security for consumers, mitigating gas price volatility

Renewable energy is one of the few ways in which we can help to power our economies and lifestyles while responding to the moral, economic and environmental imperative of reducing carbon emissions. We call on the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee to show its continued support for the renewable energy industry in Scotland.

Morag McCorkindale

Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group

Ian Couper

Energy North

Simon Puttock

Energy Technology Partnership

Christian Kjaer

European Wind Energy Association

Stan Blackley

Friends of the Earth Scotland

Robin Parker

National Union of Students Scotland

Judith Robertson

Oxfam Scotland

Maria McCaffery

Renewable UK

Stuart Housden

RSPB Scotland

(Dr) Lesley Sawers

Scottish Council for Development and Industry

Niall Stuart

Scottish Renewables

Graham Smith

Scottish Trade Union Congress

(Dr) Richard Dixon

WWF Scotland