Scotland calls on UK Government to support hydropower

Scotland calls on UK Government to support hydropower

The UK Government must work “closely” with Scotland to secure the future of the hydropower sector.

The comment was made by Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse while he was visiting a pumped hydro storage plant at Foyers, near Loch Ness.

He highlighted hydro generation was at a record high level of 5,780GWh last year.

Mr Wheelhouse said the industry was at a “crossroads” with new projects coming on stream but with future investments and jobs threatened by the UK Government’s subsidy regime.

He believes pumped hydro storage could play an important role in Scotland’s energy system and is calling for a closer working relationship between the two governments on extending it.

He added: “We are committed to supporting the development of renewables as part of a balanced energy portfolio and are already developing an overarching energy strategy, setting out what we can do to optimise the benefits of Scotland’s significant energy resources and expertise through to 2030.

“We will do all that we can to ensure hydropower and pumped hydro storage will play an important role as part of a balanced energy portfolio.”

In a statement, BEIS said: “The UK Government recognises the potential for storage technologies, which is why we have worked with other organisations to invest more than £80 million in research and development since 2012.”