This week Secretary of State for Energy, Chris Huhne, was north of the border for a Q+A session with the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee. The Secretary of State also had meetings with Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond and Finance Secretary John Swinney.
MSPs quizzed Mr Huhne on a range of subjects such as the Green Investment Bank and funding for renewables in Scotland. Scotland has a major role to play for the UK’s renewable energy due to its vast wealth of natural resources.
The Secretary of State visited Scottish Power’s Longannet coal fired power station which has been testing Carbon Capture Storage since 2009.
Chris Huhne said: “CCS has a key part to play in ensuring that we can keep the lights on at the same time as fighting climate change. The International Energy Agency has estimated that globally 3,400 CCS plants will be needed by 2050 if we are to meet our critical target of 2 degrees below pre-industrial levels. The UK has the skills and opportunity to lead the world in this technology, which is why in the spending review we committed to investing up to a billion pounds in CCS.”
The minister also visited Pelamis wave power where the company briefed him of what they need from the Government to advance tidal power. He added: “The UK is blessed with huge natural potential for renewable energy sources such wave and wind. I want to see those resources harnessed, which is one of the reasons we are currently consulting on electricity market reform; to help bring on low carbon generation and make sure that the UK gets the biggest share possible of the green energy revolution.”
Scotland plans to invest heavily in offshore power. Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “I urge the UK government to deliver a pragmatic solution that accelerates the release of funding for Scotland for renewable energy projects that are ready to go now in Scotland.