Smith: EU Renewable's Support Shows Way Forward For Scotland

05 December 2005
Scottish National Party Europe Spokesman Alyn Smith MEP today (Wednesday) welcomed the European Commission's publication of an action plan for biomass and bio-fuels.

The Commission also published a report on support for electricity from renewable sources calling on member states to do more to back green electricity.

Commenting on the announcement of the Commission action plan Mr Smith said

"Increasing the use of biomass and bio-fuel is a real opportunity for Scotland. Not just for energy but for agriculture. It offers our farmers a chance to diversify and to look at alternative markets for their crops, while helping us cut our CO2 emissions and meet our energy needs.

"This is just one of the ways Scotland can ensure that there is no need for nuclear power in our future. The Commission is putting the emphasis on green electricity, what we need now is for the governments in London and in Edinburgh to do the same.

"Scotland should have a real national plan for developing our renewable energy resources, and the Commission report on green electricity sources supports that idea.

"A national plan would help bring down barriers for developers and reduce conflict with local people if there were clear guidelines for everyone involved.

"I also welcome the Commissions call for transparent and non- discriminatory charging. I have raised concerns over the OFGEM charging regime in the far north of Scotland and the Scottish islands with the Commission and I hope we will see a change to the charges, before they can do to much damage to the development of our resources."

Note to Editors

In the Biomass Action Plan the Commission has announced changes to be introduced from 2006 including

  • obligations on fuel suppliers to include a higher percentage of biofuels in any fuel they sell.
  • reviews of fuel standards to provide a significant boost to biomass for use in transport, heating and electricity generation
  • a campaign to inform farmers about energy crops

On the production of Green Electricity the Commission is asking for member states to remove barriers to development, introduce clear guidelines and simplify planning and approval procedures.

The Commission has also highlighted the need for transparent and non- discriminatory grid access which could boost developmenof Scotland where producers face high OFGEM charges.