AN influential Citigroup report has warned investors in renewables to “exercise extreme caution in committing further capital to Scotland” because the SNP’s twin policies of separation and an increase in renewable infrastructure are not “compatible”.
The major report also warns that the “referendum itself [is] likely deter investment”. Labour has branded the warning “astounding” and highlighted the way in which renewable development is subsidised through the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) scheme.
The report states that “the ROC scheme is UK wide and payments to renewable power stations located in Scotland are funded by payments from all of theUK’s 27m households and 4.5m business consumer base. By contrast Scotland has 2.3m households and 300k enterprises, some 8% and 5% of the UK total.
However should Scotland secede then we believe the UK wide subsidy regime must be at grave risk. After all, why would consumers in England and Wales pay subsidy for renewable power produced in what would then be a foreign country?”
Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray said: “As this report shows, the SNP’s refusal to come clean about a referendum is creating uncertainty and damaging Scotland’s economy.
“We have been warning about this for months and now we see a major global bank actually advising its clients not to invest inScotland.
“What is even worse is they are advising clients not to invest inScotland’s key growth industry of renewable energy. The best future for that industry is forScotlandto remain part of the bigger economic market that is the UK. The SNP must now come forward with a date and a straight question for the referendum.”
Shadow Energy Minister and Labour MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, Tom Greatrex, said: “This is an astounding warning and shows the grave flaws in the SNP’s energy policy.
“Having one energy market across the UK means householders across these islands bear the cost of building and operating renewables in Scotland. In a separate Scotland, the price of the same level of support would be massively increased bills or even deeper cuts to public services. Both are unfathomable and unaffordable.
“This is why the vast majority of Scots know we are stronger together but weaker apart.”