Holyrood’s Energy Minister has hit out at David Cameron over his “perverse” stance on renewables.
Fergus Ewing, who is in London for talks with the UK Government, accused the Prime Minister of wanting the UK to play a “leading part” in the fight against climate change at the same time as Tory policies are “slashing” support for green energy.
Mr Ewing said: “Recent decisions on renewable energy by the UK Government can only be described as anti-business, anti-environment and anti-energy security.”
He added the impact of these is “spreading right across Scotland and the UK” arguing this was being felt by companies in the wider supply chain as well as in the renewables sector.
Industry body Scottish Renewables has already warned that the early end of a subsidy scheme for onshore wind farms and other UK Government energy policy decisions could cost billions in investment and threatens jobs in the sector.
Mr Ewing is to meet renewables representatives in London this morning, ahead of having talks with UK Energy Secretary Amber Rudd later in the day.
Scottish ministers have already made “repeated calls to extend the grace period” for all green energy projects that are currently in the pipeline, with Mr Ewing adding his is “disappointed this doesn’t appear to have been accepted” by the UK Government.
He added: “As the Energy Bill progresses in Westminster we will continue to argue that it is in the interests of business, environment and energy security for the UK Government to mitigate their hard-line stance.
“It’s particularly perverse for the Prime Minister to want the UK to play a leading role in the climate talks when his own policies are slashing green energy.”
Mr Ewing insisted that “sudden and unexpected shifts” in policy at Westminster had “brought about widespread uncertainty and concern”.
He stated: “The UK Government need to consider what urgent actions it can take to restore confidence in the sector with investors. Today’s renewable roundtable will help galvanise London based organisations in defence of the renewables sector, and will inform our discussions later today with the UK Government.”
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “There is ample evidence that the UK government’s recent energy announcements have undermined investor confidence in renewables, so we very much hope something positive can come from these meetings.
“While we certainly need to see a change in attitude towards onshore wind and solar at Westminster, there’s still much that we can do here in Scotland.
“As we head towards next year’s Holyrood elections, we look to all parties to continue support Scotland’s energy transition by committing to produce an electricity demand reduction strategy and to support the continued deployment of renewables.”