While outlining the Scottish Government planned £54.5 million fund to tackle fuel poverty, first minister Nicola Sturgeon said today that Scotland needs to “capture the economic benefits” that renewable energy offers.
Addressing a Glasgow audience at the UK’s largest renewables event, All-Energy conference, Ms Sturgeon said that the Scottish Government would “do everything in its power” to increase the spread of renewable energy across Scotland.
The first minister went on to fire a shot across the bough, accusing Westminster renewables policy and Brexit of slowing down the upscale of the Scottish market, promising “greater Brexit certainty in the coming weeks”.
Ms Sturgeon doubled down on her commitment to the renewable energy sector by saying that her government will do “everything in its power” to increase the spread of renewable energy across Scotland.
While ensuring that Scotland capitalises in the economic benefits of renewables, the first minister said that she also wants Scotland to “lead the world into the low carbon age”.
Using the Statoil Hywind floating turbine and Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm as examples, Ms Sturgeon also spoke about the recent rescue of supply chain firm Burntisland Fabrication (BiFab) through a Scottish Government brokered deal with a Canadian fabrication firm.
Hammering home the message that the Scottish Government was committed to building a strong renewables supply chain in Scotland, the first minister said: “Our ambition now has to be to lead the world into the low carbon age and that’s an ambition that’s realisable for this country. In some sectors you can already see that happening. Scottish waters now boast the world’s largest tidal power array and also the world’s first floating wind farm.
“The world’s most powerful offshore wind turbines were installed just last month in Aberdeen Bay. Our immense renewables resources are already creating jobs across the country. We want to make the most of that potential and if we’re going to do that then we must further strengthen our supply chain capabilities.
“That issue, in Scotland, has received a great deal of attention recently given the difficulties of the company BiFab. There’s a long road ahead for BiFab but things now look a lot more positive. The Scottish Government’s actions there, I hope, demonstrate our absolute commitment to preserving and building Scotland’s supply chain.”