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Business lobby seeks energy strategy to boost jobs in Scotland

Words: Huw Morris
Wind turbines / iStock

Thousands of jobs could be created in Scotland if the country becomes a world leader in new energy technology, a business leader has claimed.

Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) chief executive, Liz Cameron, said around 5,500 jobs could be created by new technologies allowing excess energy to be stored until it is needed.

The SCC called on the next Scottish Government to work with it’s UK counterpart to produce a 50-year energy strategy for Scotland.

It called the energy industry the “beating heart of the Scottish economy”, citing its oil and gas sector to our electricity generation and transmission infrastructure to the potential of a variety of renewable energy sources.

“Energy is what enables every part of our economy to flourish and the various components of the sector are huge economic contributors in their own right,” Cameron said. “From a strategic point of view, it is vital that Scotland, and indeed the UK, develops a coherent energy plan for the future over a 50-year period. 

“That level of forward planning is essential if businesses are to have the confidence to make investment decisions and would put an end to recent uncertainty in the sector due to fundamental changes in policy such as the UK Government’s decision to shift the goalposts on renewable energy policy following the 2015 General Election.

“Scotland already has a significant installed capacity of wind energy infrastructure but the future of this industry will be dictated by the development of new technologies to store excess electricity production for use at times of peak demand. Scotland has the potential to become a world leader in this area, with the right investment, helping to increase the efficiency and lower the costs of renewable energy as well as rooting skills and talent in Scotland. 

“This market is worth an estimated £1.5 billion, with the opportunity to create 5,500 new jobs in 30 locations across Scotland.

“The next Scottish Government will have a role to play in this agenda with its responsibilities for renewable energy, planning policy and a range of business taxes.  It can help to create a better environment for investment in energy solutions, including small scale energy generation and energy saving methods in commercial properties.”

Image credit | iStock