East Lothian Courier

Investing in renewables is crucial

- By Colin Beattie Musselburg­h MSP

WILL not be lost on anyone that Scotland has been extremely windy in recent weeks.

This may have caused us some disruption. But Scotland’s climate is playing a big role in helping us move away from our dependency on burning fossil fuels to meet our energy needs, by harnessing more of our natural renewable resources, like the wind.

Newly released statistics show that renewable technologi­es generated the equivalent of 113 per cent of Scotland’s overall electricit­y consumptio­n in 2022. This is a huge 26 per cent higher compared to 2021. Annually, Scotland now produces more electricit­y from the green sector than it requires overall. Scotland far leads any other part of the UK in this.

There are large-scale projects being planned in Midlothian and East Lothian that will see further growth in the renewable sector locally.

While the investment in renewable energy is welcome, there is still a long way to go. We still have a large reliance on burning fossil fuels as our main source of heating our buildings and for driving cars. While offshore there is still a large amount of oil and gas production (where all tax revenue is returned to London), this is in long-term decline. There are now obvious further risks with an increased reliance on imported oil and gas to meet our needs.

Energy policy is fully controlled by the UK Government and it has been reckless in its planning for a secure energy future. The price we now pay for our energy at home reflects this. This was largely avoidable.

The UK Government needs to prioritise and invest in green energy now. They need to invest in research into storage of green energy so we can better manage the variable outputs. There is a huge lack of investment in new sources of energy, such as hydrogen.

Investing in the renewables industry is crucial for Scotland, as it holds the potential to address three pressing issues simultaneo­usly: environmen­tal sustainabi­lity, energy security and creating new employment opportunit­ies.

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