MP regrets Energy Bill flaws

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Angus MP Mike Weir has expressed disappointment that efforts to achieve a decarbonisation target in the Energy Bill were narrowly defeated.

The House of Commons vote means that the lack of such a target could have implications for the local economy.

Mr Weir was one of the principal backers of a motion to include a decarbonisation target in the Bill and had also strongly supported it in the Bill Committee.

Speaking during the debate Mr Weir outlined the importance of the energy industry for Scotland as a whole

“The issue is very important to Scotland, where the development of green energy is a vital part of the revitalisation of our manufacturing industry. It is interesting to note that the Scottish economy has achieved some growth over the last two quarters, much of it through the energy sector.”

“Scotland’s offshore potential is huge, 25 per cent of the entire European potential. If we are able to harness that we could attract billions of pounds worth of investment and create tens of thousands of highly skilled and sustainable jobs. Indeed Scotland’s offshore wind route map outlined the potential for £30billion worth of investment with up to 28,000 direct and 20,000 indirect jobs by 2020.”

Mr Weir added that many companies were now looking at investments that would not come on stream until after 2020 and were unsure of the UK government’s intentions into the future which could jeopardise investment.

“In Angus we already have many people and firms involved in the offshore oil and gas industry whose skills can be readily transferred to tackle the difficulties of offshore renewables.

“The local economy could gain a huge boost from investment in offshore wind farms and the associated on shore business, but we need to ensure that the companies who are looking at such massive investments are satisfied that we will continue to move to low carbon energy.”