With the government expected to halt subsidies and incentives for the clean energy sector, the ambitious Scottish renewable energy industry fears a stop in future development and investment in hydro and wind energy.
Scottish Renewables – which held a conference on hydro energy in June to discuss progress of the industry – has warned that despite the growth of the clean energy sector, further development might cease if the UK’s government decides to cut subsidies to renewables.
Small-scale hydro installed in the UK since 2010 provided enough electricity to power more than 44,000 homes. However, there is growing concern around the Conservative party’s plea to cut support to renewable energy and shut down the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) subsidy system.
Joss Blamire, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said, “Hydro in Scotland is currently booming, but recent cuts, along with more set to come by the end of this year, have the potential to make further development unlikely.
“Instead of gradual, considered and measured reductions to support, we are facing a horrendously steep drop-off. Feedback directly from our industry partners suggests many projects may not survive.”
He added, “We’re currently in the boom period of an entirely predictable boom-and-bust scenario, and unless something is done soon that bust could end Scotland’s hydro ambitions before they’ve had a chance to deliver their full clean energy, jobs and investment potential.”
Scotland has ambitious plans for the clean energy sector, aiming at sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2020. Wind, hydro and sun are already the largest power sources in the country and last year, the government approved Europe’s largest tidal project in Pentland Firth, expected to meet 43% of Scotland’s electricity demand.
Photo: Pete + Lynne via flickr
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