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Scotland needs a balanced energy strategy, says GMB

Monday, January 23, 2017

GMB Scotland calls for a balanced energy strategy to support ‘a just transition’ towards a low-carbon economy

Ahead of the Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy launch tomorrow (Tuesday 24 January) GMB Scotland is urging the Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP to pursue a balanced energy policy, including new nuclear and shale gas, to secure the country’s energy future.

The Hunterston B and Torness nuclear power stations currently contribute around 33 per cent of our electricity generation and with 78 per cent of our households requiring gas for heating, Scotland’s domestic energy requirements cannot be met by renewables alone.

GMB argues that Scotland’s transition to a low-carbon economy must be a just process that supports working-class communities, industries and jobs, and the political discourse on our energy future should not be disproportionately dominated by a superficial green lobby.

GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said: “There is nothing moral about fuel poverty, frozen families and mass unemployment but that is exactly what we are dicing with if we abandon a balanced energy mix.

No-one is arguing against the central role of renewables in our energy future but renewables alone cannot provide affordable heating for our homes, keep our industries turning and support thousands of workers in quality employment.

Serious consideration should be given to a new nuclear station to replace Hunterston B - which has recently received its second lifespan extension – and Torness which are scheduled for decommissioning in 2023 and 2030 respectively.

And it’s a fact that a domestic fracking programme would provide a significant boost to our struggling economy and labour market while providing cheap and secure gas supplies to households for generations to come.

The Scottish Government must take a pragmatic approach in the best interests of the country, something that has been sadly lacking among our political elite thus far which has been badly misinformed at times by the green agenda. 

A credible energy strategy would consider all of our viable resources to maximise the redistributive opportunities for our struggling economy while ensuring the transition to a low-carbon economy is a just process for our working-class communities.”


Contact: Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.