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Support for the Energy Industry

Volume 735: debated on Wednesday 28 June 2023

6. What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on support for the energy industry in Scotland. (905586)

Scotland’s energy industry is vital to supporting the UK’s energy security. This Government have listened to Scotland’s energy industry, and we understand the need to encourage industry investment. That is why we recently announced the energy security investment mechanism, which will remove the energy profits levy if oil and gas prices fall to normal levels for a sustained period prior to March 2028.

It is great to hear a cheer for the Secretary of State as he stood up. I am sure he agrees that hydrogen production will be vital to meeting both the UK’s energy needs and our net zero targets. Will he set out what the UK Government are doing to promote the development and production of hydrogen in Scotland?

Low-carbon hydrogen is critical to delivering energy security. It presents a significant growth opportunity and will help the UK to reach net zero. We have doubled our ambition to 10 GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030, and at least half of it will come from electrolytic hydrogen, drawing on the scale up of UK offshore wind, other renewables and, of course, new nuclear.

Will the discussions with the Scottish Government also include the problems with national grid transmission, which means National Grid is paying to turn off wind turbines because it cannot afford to get the electricity they generate to the south of the country?

By law, transmission network charging is a matter for Ofgem, which is an independent regulator. It has recently produced a report on charging reforms, and the Government are looking at that report.