Tickets for the public gallery will be available shortly for when the Trump Organisation gives evidence to the Economy Energy and Tourism Committee inquiry into the achievability of the Scottish Government’s newly revised targets within its 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy (Wednesday 25th April).
Members of the public wishing to attend the meeting should contact Visitor Services from Wednesday 18th April as per normal booking procedures, by emailing [email protected] or calling 0131 348 5200 or freephone 0800 092 7600 (Textphone users: 0800 092 7100). Bookings can also be made in person at the Visitor Information Desk in the Main Hall of the Scottish Parliament.
The meeting will also be webcast live on Parliament tv.
Since the inquiry was launched in January, the Committee has been working hard, gathering evidence from experts on energy generation, the planning process, skills and education providers and shortly, from those involved in producing heat from renewable energy and also the management of the grid and transmission system.
As the Committee approaches the half way mark for this inquiry, and reflects on the three months of evidence gathered, Committee Convener Murdo Fraser said:
“Onshore wind power has dominated most of the 157 written submissions to the inquiry. It also attracts the most media attention. But dig deeper and it becomes apparent that there are wider issues across the spectrum of renewable energy generation that need to be addressed.
“We have heard from witnesses about concerns about the planning system and the risk it poses to the achievability of the targets. It took, for example, over a decade to consent the arguably critical piece of grid infrastructure; the new Beauly to Denny transmission line.”
As the Committee prepares for its next round of evidence taking between now and summer, future witnesses will cover:
- Grid and infrastructure matters - including future proofing the grid, connection charges and how to encourage capture of the renewable energy potential in Scotland’s islands.
- Finance and investment, including issues for wave and tidal technology development, particularly for the critical stage beyond the initial R&D phase.
- Community projects – examining the complexity of the system and the skills required to successfully navigate it.
- Skills issues and examining why the transition of personnel from the traditional energy and oil and gas sector into renewables has been low and what could be done to redress this.
- Issues around the target for renewables sources to provide the equivalent of 11 per cent of Scotland's heat demand by 2020.
The Committee is expected to complete evidence taking in June and report in Autumn 2012 on whether the targets are achievable, and until then, will to continue to shine this spotlight on the subject.
Key questions to be considered during the inquiry include:
- Is the technology to the meet the targets available and affordable?
- Are our universities and research institutes fully geared up to the need for technological development?
- How can national priorities be reconciled with local interests?
- Are we confident that the necessary infrastructure can be developed and financed so that Scotland can export any excess electricity generation to the rest of the UK?
- What will the impact be on consumers’ bills?
- Will sufficient funds be available to allow investment in both the installation and development of relevant technologies?
- Will Scotland have sufficient home-grown skills to attract inward investment?
- Are the reforms of the energy markets and subsidy regimes at both UK and EU level sufficient to meet the targets?