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DREW HENDRY: Renewables make sense for variety of reasons

By Drew Hendry

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Wind turbines are a familiar sight in the Highlands.
Wind turbines are a familiar sight in the Highlands.

As the SNP’s economy spokesperson, I’ve witnessed first-hand the challenges facing Scotland’s economy, particularly in the renewable energy sector.

The recent decision by Sir Keir Starmer to backpedal on a crucial £28 billion investment in renewable energy is not just disappointing; it’s a deeply harmful move that threatens jobs, investment, and economic growth across Scotland.

This decision comes at a time when our economy is already under pressure from the consequences of a hard Brexit, making it all the more perplexing.

Reducing investment in renewable energy now is the worst possible decision at the worst possible time. Scotland can be a global leader in renewable energy with the Highlands and Islands front and centre, yet this potential is undercut by short-sighted policies at Westminster. The situation is made even more critical when considering the exorbitant cost overruns at Hinkley Point C. These costs highlight the unsustainable nature of continuing down the path of nuclear energy and underscore the urgent need for a shift towards more sustainable, renewable energy sources.

The case for renewables is not just about environmental sustainability but economic sense. The EU and the US are accelerating their investments in green energy, recognising the economic opportunities it presents. Yet, here in the UK, we’re stepping back from an industry that could drive significant economic growth and job creation, especially in regions like ours.

Major investment in renewable energy is crucial for Scotland to achieve its full potential in this green energy revolution.

That’s why my SNP colleagues and I are calling for a significant increase in investment to drive growth, innovate, and lead in this critical sector.

Labour joining the Tories in a shift away from renewable energy investment is worrying, and our response must be relentless and unwavering to secure a prosperous, sustainable future for Scotland and the Highlands and Islands.

I cannot write about the impact of renewables on our region without mentioning my campaign for Highland Energy Rebate. Thank you to everyone who has already added their name to support my campaign to introduce a Highland Energy Rebate scheme.

The Highland and Islands region is pivotal in generating renewable energy for the UK but faces higher energy costs due to transmission and distribution charges. The Highland Energy Rebate scheme would provide residents with fairer prices and recognise our region’s unique contributions to the energy market.

You can share your support for the campaign by signing our petition at www.highlandenergyrebate.com

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