The Edinburgh Reporter

Leith’s clean green energy


IF YOU ARE feeling dishearten­ed by the UK’s lack of commitment to net zero targets, never fear. UK Minister of State for Energy, Greg Hands MP, apparently has the solution to the climate crisis with a cunning plan to get the UK to net zero emissions. Yes, it’s back to the future with nuclear power.

The UK Government has just announced a £210 million contract for Rolls-Royce as part of the Advanced Nuclear Fund they’re throwing money at, just a few weeks after they decided not to invest in the Carbon Capture and Storage project at St Fergus in Aberdeensh­ire.

The Tory government promised a North East of Scotland carbon capture project back in 2014, and St Fergus was the most cost-effective and shovel ready of all the bids but it lost out to projects in Teeside and the Humber. I’m furious on behalf of the oil workers that have helped the oil industry contribute over £350 billion in revenues and are now being passed over for up to 15,000 jobs that would have come Aberdeensh­ire’s way. The Scottish Government created the Just Transition Commission years ago and is investing £500 million towards a Just Transition in the North East and Moray, but the extra boost from the UK Government would have made a big difference in getting Scotland and the rest of the UK to net zero.

I’m glad to say there are some great clean green energy projects right here in my constituen­cy that give me hope for the future though. I recently visited Nova Innovation’s Leith factory where they produce tidal energy turbines and are creating excellent prospects for export. These schemes will provide constant reliable energy - and Nova has recently developed a new turbine that slashes the cost of tidal energy by a third - while leaving no costly nuclear waste dumps for us and future generation­s to deal with. It’s heartening to see these kinds of projects making big strides in Scotland, and we’ll keep working towards our ambitious climate change targets, despite the UK Government’s lackadaisi­cal approach.

Deidre Brock MP

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