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Ed Davey, the British Energy and Climate Change Secretary spoke at the All Energy conference in Aberdeen on Wednesday, where he happily announced that almost £30 billion has been invested into the UK renewable energy sector since 2010.
Figures produced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change show that £14.5 billion has been invested in projects in England, a little over £13 billion has gone to Scottish projects, £1.4 billion to renewable energy developments in Wales, and £304 million has been invested in Northern Ireland’s renewable energy sector.
He stated that “the commitment of the UK government to a vision of a low carbon future is building up a bow wave of new jobs and investment in the economy.”
Davey also used the opportunity to reiterate that an independent Scotland may not be able to continue with such a high level of investment in renewable energy as it has grown accustomed to due to the fact that it relies heavily on support from outside of its borders.
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The Scots are due to vote for independence next year, but Davey warns that “at present Scottish renewables benefit from the ability to spread investment costs across the whole of the UK consumer base. We cannot assume that English, Welsh and Northern Irish consumers would still be willing to subsidise Scottish renewables.
It will be much harder for a nation potentially having to spread the costs of investment in renewables across just two and a half million households to keep prices competitive.
I believe Scottish renewables have flourished precisely because Scotland is part of the United Kingdom. Our collective energy system has underpinned the success seen to date.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com