FIRST Minister Humza Yousaf has warned that Scotland risks losing transformational opportunities for renewable energy without an urgent change of course from the UK Government.

The First Minister ­issued the warning ahead of ­All-Energy Conference in Glasgow, the largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition in the UK, where he will set out his ambitions for the energy sector as a central tenet of a net-zero wellbeing economy for Scotland.

In his first major business speech since becoming First Minister, Yousaf will set out the Scottish ­Government’s commitment to “lead from the front” on key measures to deliver a just ­transition.

He is expected to call on the UK Government to be a “willing partner” by committing to a number of measures which would drive investment in green technologies and ensure Scotland does not lose out on renewables opportunities. These include:

  • Addressing flaws in the transmission charging system that penalise offshore wind generators in Scotland and form a barrier to green energy investment
  • Working with Scotland to announce an accelerated timetable for the Acorn Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage scheme
  • Matching or surpassing the £500 million Just Transition Fund for the North East and Moray
  • Developing a more ambitious strategy for encouraging green investment to ensure that Scotland does not lose out due to a lack of subsidy support from the UK Government

Speaking ahead of the All-Energy Conference in Glasgow, the First Minister 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.

“There is a global climate ­emergency and the Government I lead is ­determined to support the ­energy sector in every way we can as we make progress towards net zero.

“For our part, the Scottish ­Government will lead from the front when it comes to key measures to deliver a just transition, ensuring no workers are left behind.

“We will seek to work closely with partners, including the wider ­industry, and of course the UK ­Government, who hold many of the key powers in relation to energy.

“Action from the UK Government is essential to ensure that both Scotland and the UK meet our climate targets and harness the economic benefits of the just transition. But the truth is, like so many areas of the Brexit-based economy, that the UK risks falling further behind comparable countries, and throwing away the transformational green opportunities available to Scotland, unless there is an urgent change.

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“The Scottish Government is ­absolutely committed to ­embracing the future and investing in the ­technology that will get us to net zero. Under my leadership, we are ready to step up and accept we need to go ­further and faster – but we ­urgently need the UK Government to take ­decisive action as well.

“In the face of generous ­subsidies being offered elsewhere, we need the UK Government to be a ­willing ­partner by committing to a much more ambitious strategy for ­encouraging green investment – in order to ensure that Scotland and the rest of the UK are not left behind in the race for global capital.”