Renewables Inquiry to focus on communities and tourism

25.04.2012

The impact of renewable energy generation on communities and tourism will be the focus of an evidence session, being held today. This session will inform the Renewables Inquiry, launched by the Economy Energy and Tourism Committee in January.

Committee Convener, Murdo Fraser MSP said:

“Our national inquiry into the Scottish Government’s renewable energy targets and whether they are achievable has already taken evidence from 30 witnesses, covering themes from the planning system to the technological advances needed to meet the targets.

“In today's session the Committee will hear from witnesses on their views on the impact of renewable energy on tourism and communities. We will continue to hear from other witnesses in the coming months as we work towards our considered view and the Committee’s final report”.

The Committee launched its Renewables Inquiry into the achievability of the Scottish Government’s new revised targets within its 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy; specifically the challenging target that Scotland would generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s own electricity demand from renewable resources by 2020. The Committee’s final report is expected to be published in the autumn after it has concluded evidence taking and consideration. 

During its evidence session on 25 April, the Committee will take evidence from representatives from the Trump Organisation and Communities Against Turbines Scotland (CATS) on the impact of renewable energy targets on communities and tourism.

The Inquiry has already received over 160 written submissions and has taken oral evidence from 30 witnesses. As the Committee prepares for its next round of evidence taking between now and summer, future witnesses will cover:

  • Grid and infrastructure matters, and future proofing the grid, connection charges and how to encourage capture of the renewable energy potential in Scotland’s islands.
  • Finance and investment, including issues for wave and tidal technology development, particularly for the critical stage beyond the initial R&D phase.
  • Community projects – examining the complexity of the system and the skills required to successfully navigate it.

Background

Key questions which will be considered during the inquiry include:

  • Is the technology to the meet the targets available and affordable?
  • Are our universities and research institutes fully geared up to the need for technological development?
  • How can national priorities be reconciled with local interests?
  • Are we confident that the necessary infrastructure can be developed and financed so that Scotland can export any excess electricity generation to the rest of the UK?
  • What will the impact be on consumers’ bills?
  • Will sufficient funds be available to allow investment in both the installation and development of relevant technologies?
  • Will Scotland have sufficient home-grown skills to attract inward investment?
  • Are the reforms of the energy markets and subsidy regimes at both UK and EU level sufficient to meet the targets?