The four-month renewable energy inquiry, set up by the Economy Energy and Tourism Committee will conclude its evidence gathering into whether the Scottish Government’s renewable energy targets are achievable, at a meeting on Wednesday (20 June).
The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Rt Hon Ed Davey, will give evidence to MSPs on the potential impact of the UK Energy Bill. Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Fergus Ewing MSP will be the last witness in front of the Committee and conclude the evidence gathering.
Convener of the Economy Energy and Tourism Committee, Murdo Fraser MSP said:
“This Inquiry was far reaching – from the technology needed to meet the targets, to the skills needed to drive future expansion of the industry right through to the planning system, financing and the impact of onshore wind on tourism and communities.
“Over the length of this inquiry, we’ve spoken to 80 witnesses, giving us a diverse range of opinion and provoking some controversy. Our Committee will now reach its final conclusions and will publish its report in the autumn”.
The Committee has heard over 25 hours of evidence and received in the region of 400 written submissions.
The Committee will go on a final fact finding tour to Fife visiting BiFab and Adam Smith College’s Future Skills Centre on Monday (18 June). The Committee has also gathered evidence from Perthshire, Orkney and Caithness.
The Committee launched its renewables inquiry into the achievability of the Scottish Government’s 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.
Key questions which were 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?