The Scottish Government has announced it has put in place a moratorium on underground coal gasification (UCG) in Scotland, following on from its existing fracking moratorium.
The Scottish Government has confirmed solar PV projects below 5 Megawatts will continue to receive support following the UK Government’s decision to close the Renewables Obligation.
The first minister has admitted that there is a “great deal” that needs to be done to protect oil and gas jobs – and insisted the Scottish Government is doing all it can to help alleviate the crisis. Nicola Sturgeon said that her taskforce was working to minimise job losses, but that the UK Government needed to stop hampering progress in the sector. The Conservative’s energy spokesman Murdo Fraser rounded on the first minister, saying she needed to do more than “pass the buck” while people are “worried about their futures”. Labour’s energy spokesman Lewis Macdonald agreed that her efforts so far have only “scratched the surface” of the crisis affecting the North East.
New proposals on the future of cross-border cooperation on marine energy supplies in the British Isles have been published.
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has called on the UK Government to make further commitments to the help the North Sea oil and gas industry and take action on protecting the stability of the oil and gas fiscal regime. In a briefing at Holyrood to politicians he said there needed to be an urgent consultation on inventives to boost further exploration in the North Sea. Ewing also urged the UK government to make a commitment there would be no tax increases for the industry and any significant policy proposals should be in consultation with both industry and the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA).
A former chief executive of Dana Petroleum has criticised alleged contradictions in the Scottish Government’s energy policies. Stuart Paton has called for an overarching framework policy from politicians including its approach to fuel poverty, security of supply and climate change. He said the way in which the North Sea oil and gas industry is viewed is different to the way in which potential onshore energy is looked at, because it’s “just over the horizon”. The former boss and advisor to the oil and gas industry has written a chapter on energy in a yet-to-be published book by the think tank Reform Scotland.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed the Scottish Government's Energy Jobs Taskforce has been extended for a further six months.
Scotland's first minister has urged the UK Government to reconsider its decision to end subsidy payments for onshore windfarms a year early.
The Scottish Government should consider introducing congestion charging to help meet its climate change targets, according to a report. The paper prepared by the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said stronger policies are needed in areas such as transport, renewable heat, agriculture and forestry if targets are to be met in future. It warned that plans to cut air passenger duty by 50% when it is devolved to Holyrood could lead to increased carbon emissions and called for a re-evaluation of speed limits.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney has called for reform of the UK’s “fundamentally flawed” transmission charging regime after it was announced that Longannet power station is likely to close early next year. Operator Scottish Power said yesterday that the coal-fired plant in Fife will “in all likelihood” close by March 2016 after losing out on a short-term National Grid contract. Neil Clitheroe, chief executive of Scottish Power retail and generation, said the current transmission charging regime was a “major barrier” to any future investment in thermal power generation in Scotland.
Urgent reform of the oil and gas tax regime is essential to encourage exploration and ensure the North Sea is competitive for investors, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said.
WAVE and tidal projects in Orkney waters are to benefit from an £18million boost.
Treasury ministers face renewed pressure in the Commons to take action to cool soaring fuel prices.