Scotland needs to “get our act together” in energy game

16 October 2006
Speaking at a conference in Pamplona on Energy in peripheral and maritime regions Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith has called for Scotland to "get our act together" or risk loosing out on our natural advantages.

Mr Smith who is joined at the conference by representatives of the Highlands and Islands was speaking after seeing the renewable energy projects underway around Pamplona in the Navarra region.

Addressing the conference Mr Smith said;

"Scotland has incredibly plentiful renewable energy resources but if we don't get our act together soon we will not only continue to lag behind our European neighbours and competitors but will slip even further back.

"Here in Navarra 70% of energy is generated from renewables - largely wind and solar, we can do better than that and we must move forward toward a renewable energy future.

"We are reaching the point where there are increasing blocks in the system preventing renewable projects, a lot of them to do with grid capacity and the Inter-connectors to the islands and to England.

"After this conference I believe there could well be EU support available for developing and improving the island inter-connectors and I will be discussing with the islands the prospect of an EU funded feasibility study to assess and secure the best option.

"This conference has ensured that in Europe's energy future the peripheral and maritime regions are taken in to account. Their energy potential must be used to deliver as much benefit for local communities as possible. Scotland has the natural advantage, we have the natural resources.

"The SNP is the only party offering a clear energy future for Scotland with the ambition to give us that world leading position.

"As a nation we must all get our act together, look at the competition and take action to put Scotland at the top of the renewable energy world before we miss our chance."