SNP MEP Welcomes EU Boost For Scotland's Renewables

29 May 2008
SNP Member of the European Parliament Mr Alyn Smith has today given his backing to a report that seeks tougher EU action on climate change and which could see Scotland's renewable energy potential strengthened significantly. Mr Smith gave his backing following a meeting of the Industry Research and Energy Committee, where he is an alternate member.
Luxembourg Green MEP Claude Turmes, in the same group as Mr Smith, is draftsman of the Parliament's view on proposals to increase the use of renewable energy by setting the target of a 20% share of the EU energy mix for renewables by 2020. The ambitious proposals will create a step change in renewable energy, potentially a massive opportunity for Scotland. The highlights of the report are produced below as a note.

Speaking from Edinburgh, Mr Smith said:
"Scotland's green potential is oft talked about but so far seldom seen, and it is only in the last year that the Scottish government has started to get real about what we need to do to turn potential into reality. The EU can help, and there is much to be welcomed in this draft report, not least in Claude Turmes' proposals for giving greater flexibility in how the EU's renewables targets are to be achieved and in the proposed scrapping of the 10% binding target on biofuels.
"I will be bringing forward a number of amendments to strengthen the report. These will include that the Commission and the Member States present in 2009 at the latest an analysis and plan for the coordinated targeting of EU and national funding, and other forms of support, for renewable energy and energy efficient technology research centres, and in particular for centres that cooperate with Universities and enterprises (especially SMEs) in applied and innovative research.

"I'd also like to see Member States being required to take measures to ensure that as many agricultural holdings as possible become net producers of energy through the use of anaerobic digesters, PV, ground heat pumps, wood chip fuel and second generation biofuels. Scotland's farmers could make a massive contribution to Scotland's energy needs, but this potential is often overlooked.

"On the vexed issue of transmission charges, I want to see the national regulatory authorities (Ofgem) make it mandatory that the charging of transmission and distribution fees does not discriminate against electricity from renewable energy sources, and does not discriminate against electricity from renewable energy sources produced in the remote and rural parts of Scotland, where our renewable potential from wind, wave and tidal energy is at its greatest. If there are any abuses of this provision then the Commission must investigate and take any necessary corrective action".