We have had numerous recent discussions with the UK Government on the future of renewable energy. We have set out clearly our views on the impact of recent UK decisions, which are creating huge uncertainty for the renewables sector. As well as hampering our progress towards a low-carbon economy, they are adversely impacting on potential employment in Scotland and creating the likelihood of increased costs for consumers.
Given the continued impressive renewable output that is being reported in Scotland, does the First Minister share my concern that the Tories seem more interested in throttling the industry through regressive policy approaches than in giving it the support that they seem to reserve for the nuclear power industry?
Yes, I share that concern. I have already mentioned our concerns in general. We have particular concerns about the effect on the hydro sector. On onshore wind, the UK Government has badly damaged investor confidence by the premature closure of the renewables obligation, and on offshore wind, there are delays in the allocation round for contracts that are impacting on major developments off our coasts. To add insult to injury, the UK Government has cut the Peterhead carbon capture and storage project.
Scotland’s huge energy potential is at risk of being switched off by the Tories. That would be an absolute, total disgrace, and I urge them to think again on all those issues.