Brexit poses a “fundamental challenge” to the Scottish renewables sector, claims Alex Salmond
Highlighting the role of the EU in providing research funding and fostering free movement of people, the former First Minister used a speech at the University of Dundee to argue the decision to leave the bloc could cause “huge damage” to the renewable sector
Wind turbine - Fotolia
Alex Salmond has warned that Brexit poses a “fundamental challenge” to the renewable energy industry in Scotland.
Highlighting the role of the EU in providing research funding and fostering free movement of people, the former First Minister used a speech at the University of Dundee to argue the decision to leave the bloc could cause “huge damage” to the renewable sector.
UK energy policy has been a source of frustration for Scottish ministers following then energy secretary Amber Rudd’s decision to pursue a strategy based in gas and nuclear fired power stations.
Professor Peter Cameron, director of the University’s Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy questioned the effect of Scottish companies losing access to EU markets.
Cameron said: “The future could be positive since Scotland and the EU are committed to meeting demanding renewable energy targets, but there are concerns over what happens if companies based here cannot access EU markets and over the industry’s regulatory framework. What happens in the Brexit negotiations is of vital importance to the renewables sector in Scotland.”
Salmond said: "As First Minister I called new forms of power into existence to redress the balance of the old. The wind power revolution of the last ten years is more fundamental than even the hydro revolution of the 50s and 60s.”
“Scotland's renewable potential is unsurpassed in Europe, but Brexit offers fundamental challenge to realising that opportunity. We are leaving the European Union at precisely the time when energy policy is evolving into a more substantial form.
“A loss of access to research funding and the flow of people with ideas from Europe may bring about huge damage to Scotland's renewable pre-eminence.
“If we really want to become the green energy powerhouse of the Continent then we require to bin or bypass Brexit and establish Scotland's political power lines with Europe."
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The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee found that, with the EU providing around 12 per cent of the UK’s gas, leaving the single market could raise serious problems for maintaining supply