Scotland's energy potential highlighted at EU conference in Crieff

09 June 2006
Scottish National Party MEP and European spokesman Alyn Smith yesterday (Thursday) addressed the European Small Hydro Power Conference held in Crieff.

Mr Smith used the opportunity to highlight the potential of renewable and hydro energy in Scotland - especially in the Perthshire area.

Speaking at the conference Mr Smith emphasised the level of EU support for small hydro and renewable energy and the enthusiasm of members of the European Parliament for assisting companies involved in small hydro-power production.

He also condemned the slow take up of small hydro in Scotland and Scotland's failure to fully capitalise on the hydro power resources available.

After the conference Mr Smith said

"Scotland is blessed with energy resources and technological developments that we are not making enough of.

"Perthshire has hydro-developments but too often we think of big dams and reservoirs when there are smaller scale projects we could be using to produce more local power.

"As with all projects there are environmental issues that need to be taken into consideration - that while hydro power helps us reduce carbon emissions it can sometimes have more local effects that not everyone wants to see.

"What we need is a national energy strategy for Scotland, that brings better relationships between energy regulations, planning regulations and the environment as well as incentives for people to invest in small hydro and other renewable power sources."

"The European Energy Commissioner is coming to Scotland at my invitation in July and will be visiting the energy control centre in Perth, seeing new small scale technologies and seeing Scotland's big hydro developments. This is an important opportunity to show what Scotland can offer and a chance for Scotland to show we are serious about renewable energy."