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Government’s Energy Security Strategy

Volume 714: debated on Wednesday 18 May 2022

3. What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the effect of the Government’s energy security strategy on Scotland. (900002)

13. What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the effect of the Government’s energy security strategy on Scotland. (900012)

Our recently published energy security strategy will ensure clean, affordable and secure power for generations to come. The strategy sets out how Great Britain will accelerate the deployment of wind, nuclear, solar and hydrogen, while continuing to support the production of domestic oil and gas in the near term.

Nuclear power has proven to be a safe, cleaner and more efficient source of energy. With the Government’s plans for new modular nuclear reactors, nuclear will play an important role in our energy mix and reduce household energy bills. Does my hon. Friend share my disappointment that the Scottish Government dug their heels in and refused to get behind the UK Government’s drive for greater nuclear energy capacity?

My hon. Friend makes a very important point. Nuclear energy is a safe, clean and reliable source of power and it will play an important role in the UK’s energy mix and transition. In particular, the new technology of small modular reactors offers huge opportunities. Scotland has a long tradition of nuclear power and we hope that the Scottish Government will be open-minded about working with us on it.

Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine has highlighted Europe’s dependence on Russian hydrocarbons. Does my hon. Friend agree that Scotland and her access to North sea oil and gas will play a crucial role in safeguarding the United Kingdom’s energy security as we transition to a greener future?

I agree that we must do all we can to end Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and gas. The North sea has a crucial role to play in that as we transition to cleaner energy sources in the longer run. The Government remain committed to the domestic offshore oil and gas sector, which will continue to keep people warm and strengthen the security of supply.

Scotland has a quarter of Europe’s marine energy potential, but generators in the north of Scotland are charged 15 times the rate to put electricity into the national grid. When will this team, supposedly defending Scotland’s interests, actually get that sorted?

As the hon. Lady knows, that is a matter for Ofgem, which is currently conducting a review into that.

Too often, key Scottish energy projects, such as the Acorn Project in the north-east, get overlooked by this UK Government. If we look further east, the port of Nigg will provide the UK’s only offshore wind turbine manufacturing facility. It is expanding to be a major energy hub, including green hydrogen production and floating offshore wind assembly. Will the Scottish Secretary and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy visit the port of Nigg to see the massive opportunities there?

We are committed to developing the renewable energy sector in a whole range of ways. For example, I recently visited the CoRE—Community Renewable Energy—project in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency. We are funding that directly through the city and growth deal project. I am more than happy to visit Nigg and any other centre in Scotland that is developing that technology. We are standing four-square behind it.