MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine Andrew Bowie said he welcomes the ‘challenges and opportunities’ of his new role within a reshuffled Department for Energy and Net Zero.
Mr Bowie, who has represented Aberdeenshire and Kincardine since the 2017 general election, was appointed as a Parliamentary Under Secretary for the new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Whitehall revamp earlier this week.
The move saw the business, trade and culture departments split into different briefs, with Grant Shapps appointed as the UK’s first energy security and net zero secretary.
Mr Sunak had pledged to create a standalone energy department during his leadership campaign last year, reversing a 2016 decision to disband what was Department for Energy and Climate Change.
Mr Bowie previously served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exports in the government’s trade department since October 2022.
Commenting on his new appointment, he said: “It’s been a privilege to work with my friends and colleagues at the Department for International Trade, most recently in Jakarta to reiterate the importance of close commercial ties between the UK and Indonesia.
“Knowing Europe’s energy capital as well as I do, I welcome the challenges and opportunities ahead as we reconcile the race to net zero with the transition away from oil and gas, while supporting workers throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK.”
Incredibly excited to be joining the team at the new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero under @grantshapps! 💪⚡️ pic.twitter.com/clKSAwwbvY
— Andrew Bowie MP (@AndrewBowie_MP) February 7, 2023
His appointment is potentially good news for the Scottish Cluster and the Acorn carbon capture and storage project, for which Mr Bowie has been a vocal advocate.
A further update on the scheme had been promised by government for this spring, after it missed out on priority ‘Track 1’ funding in late 2021.
The department has been tasked with “securing our long-term energy supply, bringing down bills and halving inflation,” according to a government statement.
Alongside Mr Shapps, Mr Bowie joins climate minister Graham Stuart, who retains a department post awarded under former PM Liz Truss.
A new, dedicated Department for Science, Innovation and Technology will focus on scientific and technical innovation, while a newly combined Department for Business and Trade has been drawn up to support British businesses at home and abroad.