A renewable energy trade body chief has said the sector “can be key” to the country’s future, as first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a £1.5 billion increase in infrastructure spending today.
Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables claimed that the renewable energy sector can “fulfil every part of the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government”.
Ms Mack was responding to the announcement by the Scottish Government that there would be £1.5bn in increase infrastructure spending, with a significant slice to be used for low-carbon energy.
Responding to the report, Ms Mack said: “Renewable energy can fulfil every part of the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government – our industry can be the key to creating a healthier, wealthier and greener economy.
“The £1.5 billion a year increase in infrastructure spending, a portion of which is to be invested in low-carbon energy, is to be welcomed, as is the commitment to help innovative companies move into export markets – a sector where our industry has a significant contribution to make.
“We would urge the Scottish Government to make the most of its commitment to consulting on ‘a wider vision for housing in 2040’. That industry, and particularly its new-build sector, has an important role to play in the essential decarbonisation of our heat sector.
“Expansion of Scotland’s electric vehicle infrastructure will make it easier for drivers to cut carbon and take advantage of the renewable power produced here in Scotland while embracing the shift to a smarter, more modern energy system.
“We look forward to hearing from the Finance Secretary tomorrow on how the new Scottish National Investment Bank will help support low-carbon investment, and to working with the Scottish Government as its plans for Scotland develop in the coming 12 months.”
Some groups were less pleased with today’s announcement, with the director of Friends of the Earth Scotland hitting out at the government’s continued support for the oil and gas sector in Scotland.
Dr Richard Dixon said: “It is deeply disappointing that there is continued support to prolong the climate-wrecking oil industry. Any support relating to the North Sea should be directed towards helping businesses and workers transition from high-carbon to low-carbon industries, not prolonging extraction of oil.
“Climate leaders are helping their nations to move beyond fossil fuels rather drilling for every last drop.”