The Prime Minister has warned that Scotland risks missing out on transformational opportunities for renewables without an urgent change of course from the UK Government.
The alarm has been raised ahead of the UK’s largest low-carbon and renewable energy conference and exhibition, to be held at the SEC in Glasgow, where he will set out his ambitions for the energy sector, including scaling up hydrogen production.
In his first major business speech since becoming First Minister, Mr Yousaf will set out the Scottish Government’s commitment to ‘lead from the front’ on key measures to clean up the economy.
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He is expected to call on the UK government to be a “willing partner” by committing to a series of measures that he says would boost investment in green technologies and ensure Scotland does not miss out on renewable energy opportunities.
UK ministers will be asked to address what the Scottish government calls flaws in the transmission charging system that penalize offshore wind generators in Scotland and constitute a barrier to investment in green energy.
Mr. Yousaf will renew calls for an accelerated schedule for funding of Acorn’s carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) scheme in the North East to be confirmed.
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It will also call on the UK government to match the SNP’s £500m just transition fund for the North East and Moray.
The GF will also call for a more ambitious strategy to encourage green investment to ensure Scotland does not lose out due to a lack of UK government subsidies.
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Speaking ahead of the All Energy Conference, Mr Yousaf said: “The Scottish Government sees the move to net zero as the biggest economic opportunity this country has, as well as being an environmental necessity.
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“There is a global climate emergency and the government I lead is determined to support the energy sector in any way we can as we move towards net zero.
“For our part, the Scottish Government will lead from the front when it comes to key measures to achieve a just transition, ensuring that no worker is left behind.
“We will be looking to work closely with partners, including the broader industry and of course the UK government, which has many of the key powers in relation to energy.”
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The FM said “UK government action is essential to ensure that both Scotland and the UK meet our climate targets and reap the economic benefits of the just transition.”
He added: “But the truth is that, like many areas of the Brexit-based economy, the UK risks falling even further behind comparable countries and squandering the transformative green opportunities available to Scotland, unless there is a change urgent.
“The Scottish Government is absolutely committed to embracing the future and investing in the technology that will take us to net zero.
“Under my leadership, we are ready to step up and accept that we must go further and faster, but we also urgently need decisive action from the UK government.
“Given the generous subsidies on offer elsewhere, we need the UK government to be a willing partner by committing to a much more ambitious strategy to encourage green investment, to ensure that Scotland and the rest of the UK are not left behind. stay behind in the race for global capital.