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Energy Industries

Volume 522: debated on Wednesday 26 January 2011

11. What assessment he has made of the effects of the outcomes of the recent state visit to Edinburgh and London of the vice-premier of the People’s Republic of China on the renewable and low-carbon energy industries in Scotland. (35134)

China and the United Kingdom are key partners for growth in the future. This visit was another positive step in strengthening relationships, and it confirms Scotland’s reputation as a world leader in the continuing development and application of the new technology that helps to deliver clean green energy globally.

I thank the Secretary of State for his answer. Does he agree that investment worth £6 million in Scottish companies by the largest energy consumer in the world will provide a perfect showcase for the benefits of green technology? Does not the fact that Edinburgh seems set to see the creation of a renewable energy cluster in Leith docks further the case for the city to be the location for the new green investment bank? [Interruption.]

Order. There is far too much noise in the Chamber. That is unfair on the hon. Member asking the question, and on the Minister answering it. It also sends out a very bad signal to those listening to our proceedings.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

On my hon. Friend’s first point, may I just emphasise what I said earlier, which was that the vice-premier was very impressed by what he saw of Scotland’s renewable energy sector when he visited Edinburgh, and not only by the presentations that he saw about the country’s potential but specifically by seeing the Pelamis factory in Leith? My hon. Friend also makes a strong and compelling case for the green investment bank, and we will announce details of that shortly. We look forward to making an announcement about its location at an appropriate moment.

I welcome the support that the Secretary of State has given to the establishment of the green investment bank headquarters in Edinburgh. Given that leading economists have said this morning that Scotland faces an even greater danger than the rest of the UK of a double-dip recession, does he accept that the decision on the location of the bank should be taken sooner rather than later? We want it to be set up so that we can have the advantage of the jobs that it will bring now, not in three or four years’ time.

Unlike the previous Government, we have actually made a firm commitment to the green investment bank, and we intend to deliver on that. We will be making further announcements on the detail as soon as possible.