In July I wrote to the UK energy minister, Charles Hendry, to stress the need for a renewable heat incentive to support the development of the sector and to help achieve our renewable heat and wider climate change targets.
In addition, officials continue to liaise with the Department of Energy and Climate Change to ensure that Scottish interests are fully represented in the design of the renewable heat incentive, given that we have worked so hard with DECC and others to prepare the ground for it in Scotland.
The minister will be aware that it is difficult to overstate the importance of incentives in promoting the growth of renewable energy and that we have a huge opportunity, not merely for manufacturers but for installers and those who train and accredit them. Can the minister give me some encouragement by saying whether his efforts with the UK Government will bear fruit? The
Yes, I can give the member a commitment that we will continue our focus on the matter. This year we have hosted numerous stakeholder events specifically on renewable heat and heard at first hand about the importance of renewable heat to Scotland, not just from manufacturers and installers but landowners, farmers, forestry interests, haulage interests, housing associations, local authorities and so on. Scotland is ready for it and the renewable heat incentive is crucial to our aim of building a viable and diverse renewable heat industry. I will continue the dialogue with Westminster to ensure that Scottish interests are listened to.