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Scotland's Green Energy Industry at Risk, Warn MPs

30 Aug 14:00 by Steve Walia

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A committee of MPs has warned the government that Scotland's green energy industry, which currently employs around 21,000 people in primarily skilled roles, is looking increasingly under threat, with hope of Scotland remaining as a flagship developer in the green industry becoming less likely.

The news comes as Westminster has implemented a series of subsidy cuts for clean and green renewable technology developments. Scotland produces nearly a third of the total renewable energy for the UK as part of the government's original commitment to have 20pc of total energy outputs derived from clean sources by 2020.

Slashing Subsidies

Environmentalists were shocked last year when the government announced that it would be slashing attractive onshore wind-farm subsidies. This is a technology that Scotland has heavily invested in and positioned itself globally as a leading player.

The Scottish Affairs Committee has subsequently released a report into the country's renewable energy sector which warns that ongoing changes to government policy across the UK may well undermine the sector's achievements and future growth prospects.

Government Clarification Needed

They have asked the government to clarify the levels of future support planned for the renewable industry and plans for creating a clean and long-term energy mix strategy with the Scottish government that still commits to developing renewables at a meaningful level.

Changes to government policy have affected investor confidence, which is now further weakened following the EU referendum result. A spokesperson for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said that the government would continue with its commitment to the renewables industry with a funding package of £730 million earmarked for future green energy projects. Scotland's developers will now be keen to see this translated into action as the period of uncertainty continues.