Questions raised over impact of Scottish independence on energy and climate change
The impact of Scotland's proposed independence on energy and climate change is set to be investigated by a new Energy and Climate Change Committee (ECCC) inquiry.
Launched on Friday (February 24) by ECCC chair Tim Yeo MP, it aims to ascertain whether Scotland’s wind and wave resources will play a “crucial role” in the growth of the UK’s renewable energy sector, as well as the impact on capital investment in the sector.
It will also consider whether Scotland’s electricity transmission system is an “integral part” of the UK’s energy infrastructure.
This pre-empts a promise by the Scottish first minister Alex Salmond to lead an independence referendum and fulfil an ambition to create a sovereign wealth fund from oil and gas revenues to create an independent Scotland.
According to the ECCC, Scotland’s independence would “inevitably have implications for energy and climate change”, adding that “there may also be implications arising from uncertainty in the period of time leading up to the planned referendum in 2014”.
It is thought that recent high-level discussions about the timing and nature of Scotland’s proposed independence referendum between the prime minister David Cameron and Mr Salmond have pushed the implications of potential Scottish independence up the ECCC’s agenda.
The ECCC is now inviting responses which address the impact of Scottish independence on the UK’s energy security and energy markets and its ability to meet climate change objectives, including a target for 15% of UK energy from renewable sources by 2020.
In addition, it calls for feedback on the implications for the UK’s carbon budgets and Low Carbon Transition Plan, as well as for current subsidy mechanisms such as Feed in Tariff (FIT) and the proposed Contract for Difference scheme.
The deadline for written evidence submissions is March 9.
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