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MPs unhappy at commitment to renewables

MPs have accused ministers of a “worrying complacency” about renewable energy and a failure to reassure the sector over its future.

Members of the Scottish Affairs Committee in Westminster have published a response from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy department (Beis) to a report from the committee in July.

The report had highlighted previous successes in expanding renewable energy capacity in Scotland, but the committee warned that recent changes in Government policy, notably over subsidies, had created uncertainty that could threaten further growth.

An estimated 21,000 people are employed in the Scottish renewables sector, which produces almost 30% of the UK’s renewable electricity. MPs were particularly concerned about a lack of support for onshore wind but their comments concerned the wider renewables sector.

Following the publication of the Government’s response, committee chair Pete Wishart said he was disappointed it had not recognised uncertainty in the renewables sector or provided meaningful support and reassurance in their response.

“The … report shows a worrying complacency. They are right to recognise the strong performance of Scotland’s renewable sector, but they have not responded to the voices of those in the industry who have told us that they are facing an uncertain future.

“We are told that everything is fine, but where are the reassurances to the renewable sector that the support will be there to encourage the development of new plants and new technologies? Where is the investment in infrastructure?”

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