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Scottish Renewables comment on 2015 General Election result

Posted on 08/05/2015 by Peter Speirs

Commenting on the result of the 2015 General Election, which saw the Conservative Party win a majority of seats, Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said:

“It is important for the renewable energy industry to get an early and clear commitment to the continued growth of the sector and to meeting our existing 2020 climate change targets, particularly given negative comments from Conservative backbench MPs – and even ministers – in the last parliament.

“I think that ending support for onshore wind would be a mistake as the sector is expected to be the biggest part of our industry in 2020, is the cheapest renewable technology that can be deployed at the scale we need, and has cut costs by more than 15% over recent years. 

“We know we need to keep cutting costs over coming years, but an immediate removal of all support would actually push up consumer bills as we would need to find the shortfall in electricity generation from more expensive sources.

“It would also go against the wishes of almost two thirds of Britons who consistently back the continued deployment of this affordable, green and home-grown energy source in the government’s own polls.”

Mr Stuart also highlighted the need for longer-term targets to tackle climate change and promote clean energy investment: “We are pleased to see the Conservative Party is committed to tackling climate change, but we will only be able to do that if we clean up our power sector.

"We are therefore disappointed at their rejection of a target for carbon emissions from the electricity industry. A clear objective would give business certainty over direction of travel and allow us to start planning and investing now to deliver the growth in renewables that we need to meet our wider climate change targets.”



Notes to Editors:

  1. The Conservative Party’s manifesto pledge to end support for onshore wind can be found on page 57 of the party’s manifesto. It states: “Onshore wind now makes a meaningful contribution to our energy mix and has been part of the necessary increase in renewable capacity. Onshore windfarms often fail to win public support, however, and are unable by themselves to provide the firm capacity that a stable energy system requires. As a result, we will end any new public subsidy for them and change the law so that local people have the final say on windfarm applications.”
  2. Department of Energy and Climate Change polling on public support for onshore wind, alongside other technologies, can be found in the latest version of the Public Attitudes Tracking Survey.
  3. Figures for cost reduction in onshore wind gained in February’s Contracts for Difference auction can be found here.

Peter Speirs

Public Affairs Manager