Scottish ministers snubbed over renewable subsidies powers

Ed Davey
Ed Davey

UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey has defended an 11th hour move to strip Scottish ministers of powers over subsidies for renewables schemes.

The UK Government has tabled amendments to its Energy Billwhich would remove Holyrood’s control of the Renewables Obligation.

The Scottish Government has ambitious renewable energy targets, with plans to generate 100% of the nation’s gross annual electricity consumption from green sources by 2020.

SNP ministers want to offer developers extra incentives for offshore windfarmsbut the plan could be scuppered by the UK Government amendment, which would peg subsidies at the same level across the UK.

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “I find it extraordinary that the UK Government has chosen to act in this way, and to strip Scottish ministers and the Scottish Parliament of their powers and discretion in an area of such vital importance.

“The UK Government has produced this amendment with no consultation.”

Mr Davey responded: “These amendments are designed to provide certainty for both investors and consumers across the UK.

“It provides the certainty on the transition to electricity market reform, protects consumers and is the most reasonable course of action as we continue to encourage investment in our renewables sector.

“These costs would fall to consumers across the UK, not just Scotland, so it is right that the UK Government should be able to determine the closure date for the scheme.”