Draft Scottish Energy Strategy

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 24th January 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Paul Wheelhouse Paul Wheelhouse Scottish National Party

I have some sympathy with Jackie Baillie’s latter point. The issue is ultimately about helping people to tackle fuel poverty—I think that we are all in agreement that that is one of the biggest problems that we face. We deal with constituents on a regular basis who face the choice between heating their homes and eating—that is very far from being a satisfactory position. It is not entirely my decision, but I have sympathy with the point about trying to focus on how many people we help rather than on heating houses for the sake of heating houses; this is about helping individuals, so that was a constructive point and I will work with colleagues in the Government to see how we can implement that.

We will work with stakeholders to identify our approach to tackling fuel poverty. We will look at having a renewed strategy for that, at how we measure it and at the scope of the targets in that respect. I hope that there will be the possibility to engage with Jackie Baillie and her colleagues on how we take that agenda forward.

On the flexibility issue, I recognise that there is an important need to ensure that we have a secure and reliable supply of energy. I want to continue to work with UK Government ministers to achieve that end. I have engaged positively with them on issues such as pumped hydro storage. I know that looking at battery storage is one of the focuses of the industrial strategy south of the border, and I hope that we can work together on that. It does take two to tango, as I have discussed with Ms Baillie—[