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SCOTLAND CONTRIBUTES TO UK ENERGY REVIEW

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The executive's first contribution to the UK Energy Review has been published. ...
The executive's first contribution to the UK Energy Review has been published.

The paper highlights energy issues of particular importance to Scotland for the UK Review that is currently being conducted by the cabinet office.

Deputy minister for enterprise and lifelong learning Alasdair Morrison emphasised the importance of the energy industries to Scotland's economic prosperity:

'The initial paper we have prepared for the review emphasises that Scotland is an energy rich nation. In particular, we are highlighting the huge potential for the development of renewable energy throughout Scotland over the 50-year horizon of the review.

Rhona Brankin, deputy minister for the environment and rural development, and the executive minister responsible for renewable energy, said:

'The executive is very strongly committed to encouraging the deployment of existing renewable energy technologies, such as wind power, and the development of new technologies, such as marine energy which may well make a significant contribution in the years to come. Our objective is to increase the share of Scotland's electricity generated from renewable energy to 18% by 2010, and it is not impossible that this objective will be exceeded.'

On the subject of nuclear energy in Scotland, Mr Morrison commented:

'Hunterston and Torness nuclear power stations currently provide Scotland with over half of its electricity. While it might be as long as 15 years before the first of these stations closes, it is not too soon to begin thinking about how to replace the energy which they produce.

'The executive's position on nuclear is very clear. In partnership with the department of environment food and rural affairs, we have today launched a joint consultation process on the policy and options for nuclear waste management, which is a devolved matter. The executive takes the view that no decisions on policy about the future of nuclear should be taken before the results of that consultation process are available.'

BACKGROUND

1. Energy policy is a reserved matter, and the energy review is a UK government review, being carried out by the cabinet office. Executive officials have met with members of the team to discuss in detail energy issues of direct relevance to Scotland, particularly the scope for a huge increase in the production of renewable energy.

2. The energy review will identify policy options. The executive's initial paper for the review covers the potential for renewable energy in Scotland and future capacity from other sources. It will be followed later in the autumn by a further paper with more detail about the potential for renewable energy.

4. Applications for all new power stations in Scotland fall to be considered by Scottish ministers under devolved consent powers.

5. The publication of the initial paper coincides with the start of a wide-ranging consultation on a long-term strategy for the management of radioactive waste. Regulation of radioactive waste management is a devolved matter. The Scottish executive, in partnership with the UK government and the other devolved administrations, has started the process with the publication of Managing Radioactive Waste Safely.

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