SNP accused of 'letting jobs slip away' over offshore wind farm delay

Scottish ministers have been accused of creating a delay

The Scottish Government has been accused of “letting jobs slip away” after being blamed for delays to an offshore wind farm.

The Berwick Bank development, which will sit in the Outer Firth of Forth, is said to have the potential to create 4,650 jobs in Scotland, and generate billions of pounds in investment.

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According to The Times, the development has not yet been consented by Scottish ministers, meaning it can’t apply for a power price guarantee from the UK Government til 2025.

The Scottish Government has been criticised over delays to a wind farm.The Scottish Government has been criticised over delays to a wind farm.
The Scottish Government has been criticised over delays to a wind farm.

Now UK energy minister Andrew Bowie has criticised Scottish Government over the development, claiming a failure to approve the project off the east coast would see jobs leaving Scotland and was “putting at risk the goal to get to net zero by 2050”.

He said: “It’s quite astonishing that in the same week as the Scottish government has had to embarrassingly dump its decarbonisation target, they are also causing havoc with the UK’s overall climate goals by dragging their feet over the Berwick Bank offshore wind farm”.

“How much longer Green MSPs can support this failing administration remains to be seen — the public at large can see right through them. Big on announcements, woeful on delivery.”

Scottish Labour were also furious, with its leader Anas Sarwar MSP demanding ministers explain what happened immediately.He said: “Years of grand rhetoric and empty promises from the SNP are coming home to roost, with devastating consequences.

“Ministers must come to Parliament and explain how their startling incompetence let this project, and the jobs it could have brought to the Scottish economy, slip away.

“This is just another example of how the SNP means higher bills, fewer jobs and more energy insecurity for Scots.

“This is not the leadership Scotland needs if we are to seize the huge opportunities available to us.

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“Labour will deliver where this government has failed - cutting bills, creating jobs and providing energy security so we are no longer subject to the whims of tyrants like Putin”.

Louise Gilmour, Scotland secretary of the GMB union, said: “Tragically, no one with even a passing interest in these matters will be surprised by this latest delay. They might be dismayed, frustrated and angry but not surprised.

"Their inability to build an industrial strategy, make swift decisions and provide the necessary support to support the drive to renewable energy has been abject.”

Berwick Bank, being developed by SSE, has been in the planning system since December 2022, and is capable of powering six million households, but without consent from Scottish ministers, it could not go into the UK government’s contracts for difference (CfD) auction where developers can bid for long-term deals that guarantee a price for the power generated.

The deadline for this year’s round closed on Friday and no further auctions are planned until 2025.

A Scottish government spokesman said: “A decision on Berwick Bank will be taken by ministers in due course. We cannot comment on a live application.

“It is important the consenting process is robust to ensure the right projects are built in the right place at the right time in order to support industry, protect our marine environment and other sea users and maximise the economic opportunities a secure pipeline of development will bring.”



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