SCOTLAND should learn from the UK’s past failures to capitalise on the country’s oil revenues and aim to set up a wind fund by investing in publicly owned renewable projects that benefit all Scots, it has been claimed. The call comes from a growing number of industry experts, campaigners and academics, who are highlighting the need for urgent investments in publicly-owned renewable projects to stop Scotland being left behind. Nearly half of Scotland’s offshore wind installations are in public ownership by state-controlled companies from other countries. The rest are owned by foreign multinationals such as Iberdrola. Other onshore renewable projects are run or proposed by wealthy landowners. The Scottish Government has committed to setting up a national energy company by 2021, but campaigners say it must not just become another supplier, but instead invest in renewables. Andrew Cumbers, professor of regional political economy at Glasgow University claimed lessons should be learned from Statoil, Norway’s publicly owned oil company which was set up in 1972 to ensure oil use was in the interests of all Norwegians. Scotland should look to Denmark for inspiration with its public energy company taking on a strategic role that will allow for a just transition away from fossil fuels. The Scottish Government should examine how to ensure a percentage of local investment – set at 30-40% – in all renewable projects. Anna Markova of Platform London says Scotland could create a People’s Wind Fund for future generations. We shouldn’t privatise yet another common resource.
The National 8th March 2020 read more »