LONDON, April 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
- Fergus Ewing, member of SNP and Scottish minister for Business, Energy and Tourism opens IJGlobal European Renewable Energy Investors Forum.
- Ewing says SNP would improve UK renewables
- SNP has not closed the door on a Scottish shale industry
Fergus Ewing, Scottish Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, and SNP member, told delegates at the IJGlobal European Renewable Energy Investors Forum that the SNP would improve UK renewables.
Ewing opened the two-day director level conference at the Old Course Hotel in Scotland with an address to delegates outlining the Scottish government's priorities for domestic electricity supply. He also talked about the impact of the Levy Control Framework planning and its intended support regime for established and emerging renewables.
Ewing told members of the renewable energy and project finance industries that the SNP would seek to work with Westminster were it to form a coalition with a UK party post-election.
However Ewing was critical of the attitudes of some parties towards green energy investment.
"There is a marked contrast [in our renewables policy] compared with the Conservatives and UKIP, for example. Why would developers want to invest in a place where they're not welcome?"
Ewing also said Scotland had not ruled out a shale gas industry in the country.
The Scottish government imposed a moratorium on shale gas planning permits in the country in January this year, and the SNP has previously voted for a UK-wide moratorium.
However Ewing told delegates at the event that the party does not support an indefinite ban. Instead "we need a national debate," he said.
"It's wrong for us to proceed other than on the basis of evidence, and we lack that." In contrast, the rest of the UK has a "gung-ho" attitude to shale gas exploration, he said.