DESPITE their North Sea oil and gas bonanza, successive UK Governments have failed to invest in Scottish green manufacturing.

Writing in an Edinburgh newspaper, LibDem MP Christine Jardine attacked the UK and Scottish Governments’ records on climate change but she forgot to mention Sir Ed Davey’s role when he was Energy Secretary for the Tory/LibDem coalition.

On February 24 2014 Ed Davey was quoted in numerous newspapers as saying that Peterhead was confirmed as the site for carbon capture and backed this up with the promise of £100 million from the UK Government. He added that an independent Scotland would find it “more difficult to proceed” with the project, and insisted it was not a bribe to get Scots to vote No in the independence referendum. As we all know, the Peterhead promise was ditched in November 2015.

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Also, Energy Secretary Ed Davey agreed in 2013 that the Hinkley Point nuclear power station should receive a minimum price of £92.50 per megawatt per hour for 35 years, which the National Audit Office estimates will cost taxpayers £50 billion as the wholesale electricity price has remained much lower. At the same time Ofgem was, and still is, charging Scottish renewable energy producers the highest grid connection charges in Europe and well over twice as much as their English counterparts.

Last week the UK Government announced a further £1.7bn subsidy towards the building of the £20bn Hinkley Point nuclear power plant in Somerset and continues to subsidise the polluting wood-burning Drax coal-fired plant in Yorkshire by almost £1bn every year.

Rishi Sunak has failed to match the £500m the Scottish Government is investing in the north-east as part of a just transition away from the oil and gas sector, and ignored Scotland’s far better claims for carbon capture investment.

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As much oil and gas has been extracted from Scotland’s waters as in Norway, but the Norwegian government maintained taxation levels on oil and gas at 78% and has raised £400bn more than the UK, whereas the UK Government cut petroleum revenues tax to zero in 2016 which also impacted on the GERS figures.

Energy policy is reserved to Westminster and Scotland’s oil and gas revenues have contributed more than £350bn to the UK Treasury. The Tory political gimmick of bypassing the Scottish Government for some minor projects fails to compensate for the historic lack of serious investment by successive UK Governments, including 13 years of New Labour,

into Scottish renewable manufacturing such as wind and tidal turbines – particularly in hydrogen fuel cells and electrolysers, as this is the clean energy of the future.

The governments of small independent countries such as Norway and Denmark invested their oil and gas revenues into world-leading renewable manufacturing plus Norway also managed to modernise their shipyards and ports. Any independent Scottish Government would surely give much more priority to our manufacturing industries.

Fraser Grant

I AM not alone in being embarrassed about our First Minister having photographs taken with the great and good whilst Scotland is being ignored and treated like some small island with few inhabitants.

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This was a golden opportunity for Scotland to square its shoulders and fight for the right to be recognised as an independent country with renewable energy credentials. Your front-page headline on Tuesday’s paper was just another lie to the people. Nicola is not “in the spotlight”, she has been made to look weak by Westminster as per usual.

Rosemary Smith
East Kilbride