Scotland could produce 1% of the WORLD'S renewable energy

08 March 2005
"Scotland could share in 14 billion pound jackpot"

Scots SNP MEP Alyn Smith has raised Scotland's energy potential in the European Parliament, and called on the European Commission to provide political leadership where the Scottish Executive is failing. Mr Smith referred to research by Universities Scotland which found that Scotland could provide 1% of the global renewable energy market, worth some 14 billion pounds a year.

Speaking in Parliament, Alyn Smith MEP said:

"We have just over 5 million people, yet with all our natural assets Universities Scotland has calculated that we could contribute 1% of the world's renewable energy needs. That would be worth some 14 billion pounds. Green Energy is not a loss leader.

"To achieve this we'll need leadership, and sadly the Scottish government is not providing it. We in Scotland need a coherent National Energy Plan. We in Europe need likewise.

"The European Commission can provide the leadership and structure these emerging technologies need. We heard last week that the European Renewables organisations are asking for 250 million euro a year research funding.

"I'd like to challenge the Commission to meet that modest ambition and surpass it."

Speaking afterwards Mr Smith said:

"I've been out and about in Scotland seeing projects the length and breadth of the country. What has struck me is that every part of the country could produce fuel for green energy, and profit from it. We have farms that could grow biomass fuels, urban centres that produce fuel for waste to energy plants, as well as the wind, wave and geothermal resources other European countries can only look enviously at.

"Yet, it is heartbreaking that because of the inaction of the Scottish Executive and obstruction of the UK government and OFGEM the renewable debate in Scotland often focuses only on where second hand Danish wind turbines should be sited. We could do so much better and if the Scottish Executive will not provide leadership, if the UK government is not interested, then I'll call on the European Commission to step in."