The energy crisis is a ‘prime example’ of why Scotland needs independence


THE energy crisis is a “prime example” of why Scotland needs independence, said Lorna Slater.

The Scottish Greens co-leader said Scotland has the potential to produce its own renewable energy, but is limited in the powers needed to create key infrastructure for self-sufficiency.

Speaking to The National ahead of the Party’s conference in Edinburgh this weekend, Slater said the energy crisis is due to a lack of investment in renewable infrastructure by the UK government.

And, co-leader Patrick Harvie has said he looks forward to an “extraordinary and momentous” party conference, as members close to celebrating their biggest election victory and having two green ministers in government. for the first time.

It comes as 14 million UK households are expected to experience a “significant increase” in their energy bills when the price cap is revised in February, according to the head of energy regulator Ofgem.

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Energy bills are also set to explode this winter for consumers with fixed-term contracts expiring.

Cornwall Insight experts have suggested that the current level of £ 1,277 per year for the average household could rise to £ 1,559 per year in 2022.

Slater previously argued in an article in The National in June that Scotland urgently needed a public energy company.

SNP members backed the policy at their conference last month, but the issue was taken off the Scottish government’s agenda. The National asked if Slater was still pushing for government policy and if she still supported it.

She said: “The issue of rising energy prices shows exactly why we shouldn’t depend on oil and gas, and certainly not on the gas that Vladimir Putin has his fingers on – price volatility and the availability of oil and gas is exactly why we shouldn’t be using it.

“This is a very good example of why Scotland should produce its own renewable energy, we certainly have the potential.

“Unfortunately, because we don’t have all the powers we need to build our own grid infrastructure or even install our own export cables for this energy, we are not able to be fully self-sufficient with our clean energy – with a reliable energy supply this would not have this kind of soaring price situation.

‘So the reason we’re here is due to the UK government’s lack of investment in renewable infrastructure and building a stable base of renewable electricity – instead we are kept dependent on gas. foreigner.

“This is a great example of why we need to change our energy model, but also why we need Scottish independence.”

It comes as the co-leaders are set to face their party members in person for the first time since their historic victory, which saw the election of eight MPs in Holyrood and the conclusion of a crucial cooperation with the SNP.

Slater said the conference will be a “time of celebration” and an opportunity for MSPs to thank members for their hard work.

She said: “This is the culmination of 30 years of work by our volunteers and activists, people who for years, week after week, election after election, knocked on doors, put leaflets in mailboxes. letters, have been at every conference to vote and debate our policy, have built the party up to this point, and our approach – being positive and constructive in opposition – this adult policy of consensus and negotiation is an honor for our members.

“And the fact that the Scottish Government felt comfortable enough to invite us to know that we would be capable and positive partners.”

“I think there is going to be an element of celebration, and congratulating and thanking our members for making it happen. It is their victory, it is their accomplishment.

Harvie also said he would like to thank the party members and was delighted to discuss with them the “incredibly exciting moment of opportunity” to complete the cooperation agreement.

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When asked if Scottish independence would be on the agenda, Harvie said: ‘There will be debates on a wide range of issues, including constitutional issues and I think in particular, this idea that some people would like to pretend it’s the environment or independence, while from a green perspective it’s independence in order to achieve a lot of this more transformational change on sustainability, on net zero, but also on a fairer and more egalitarian society.

“It’s about independence for a purpose, that’s always what drove the Greens to support independence; what is it for, what can we achieve? ”

The Scottish Greens Party conference will be held at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on October 9-10.

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