Not switched on

The claim by the new UK energy minister Amber Rudd that the Scottish Government’s policy on electricity relies wholly on renewables is simply incorrect and shows a worrying lack of understanding of her new brief (your report, 6 August).

Contrary to Ms Rudd’s remarks, the Scottish Government’s policy is not, and never has been, to rely 100 per cent on renewables.

We believe that renewables can play an important role as part of a mix of electricity 

In Scotland, we have different priorities from the UK Government and we take a longer-term view on energy policy.

Our programme is designed to deliver four objectives: security of supply, affordability for consumers, addressing the causes of climate change; and achieving the greatest possible economic benefit and competitive advantage for Scotland.

One of the key resources comes from new hydro electric power.

I wrote to Amber Rudd recently following similar pleas to her predecessor, Greg Barker, asking that she meet hydro generators who fear that the unintended consequences of the changes to feed-in tariffs will herald the end of the industry or much of it in Scotland.

This is because of the degression mechanism, which the industry believes is flawed.

Indeed, their representatives have put some time and effort into proposing an alternative approach which they maintain is cost-neutral.

It is imperative that Amber Rudd returns to Scotland as a matter of urgency to meet 
with both myself and representatives of the hydro sector to
prevent the destruction of a whole sector of the renewable industry.

Fergus Ewing

Minister for energy, 
enterprise and tourism