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Renewable Energy Sector

Volume 639: debated on Wednesday 25 April 2018

3. What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on supporting the renewable energy sector in Scotland. (904846)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland has regular discussions with colleagues on a range of issues, including the renewable energy sector in Scotland. The Government remain committed to a thriving renewables industry across the UK, and Scotland is a central part of that, with up to £557 million of support being made available for new generation projects.

Given that we are an island, wave and tidal energy should be a priority for this Government. However, due to the allocation of funding through the contracts for difference scheme, wave and tidal energy have never secured funding, as they cannot compete financially with more established technologies. Will the Secretary of State undertake to review the way those allocations are carried out and consider allocating a specific pot to less established technologies?

In previous rounds of contracts for difference, Scottish projects won 11 of the 25 contracts. On the specific point the hon. Lady makes, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has committed to raise the issue with the Minister responsible and will come back to her on that.

Recently, I visited the community hydro scheme in Callander, which is a first-class project that makes the best of our Scottish rain—there will be no shortage of that in the short term or the long term. What encouragement can the Department give to Scotland’s hydro energy businesses?

The next round of contracts for difference is expected in the spring of next year. That is an opportunity for new and innovative schemes to come forward for grants, and I suggest that an application be made.