Speaking from the European Parliament's monthly voting session in Strasbourg, Scottish Conservative Euro MP Struan Stevenson has warned that the SNP Government's energy policy risks becoming a laughingstock across Europe.
This week, both the European Commissioner for Industry and the President of the European Council have made disparaging comments regarding energy policies that focus too heavily on renewables. Commissioner Antonio Tajani pointed out that Europe faces “a systemic industrial massacre” because the race for renewables is driving electricity prices to unsustainable levels. Tajani also warned that a dogmatic approach meeting unrealistic climate goals will negatively impact European industry. President Van Rompuy of the European Council echoed his colleague’s words, urging policymakers to prioritise reducing energy costs.
The comments came as Audit Scotland published a report on the Scottish Government’s renewable energy policy which cast serious doubt on the feasibility of Scotland being able to meet SNP targets for electricity generation from renewable sources and green jobs.
Stevenson, Scotland's only Conservative MEP, commented that:
“The remarks of the Commissioner and President Van Rompuy simply confirm that the SNP Government has embarrassed itself with their ill-conceived, overly-ambitious energy policy. Even Europe's top officials are now warning that the unrelenting spread of wind turbines will have disastrous consequences.
“Unfortunately, Alex Salmond seems intent on ploughing ahead with the mad-dash for renewables, despite new figures from Audit Scotland showing that although nearly 300 extra projects have been consented across the country, the Government isn't even close to meeting their ridiculous target of producing 30 per cent of Scotland’s total energy consumption by 2020.”
“I am absolutely in favour of protecting the environment and combating climate change, but misguided energy policies, both in Scotland and across the EU, are merely pushing energy costs to untenable levels. Not only does this damage industry and competitiveness but it drives more and more people into fuel poverty every week.
“The SNP Government has blatantly disregarded advice from senior EU officials in the past, notably over the question of an independent Scotland's membership of the EU. Now they must heed the words of Commissioner Tajani and President Van Rompuy otherwise we will be thrust into a crippling energy crisis”.