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Scotland’s renewable energy jobs hugely overestimated

Auditor General warns Scotland’s ‘green revolution’ may only create a third of the 40,000 jobs predicted by governement

Scotland’s ‘renewable revolution’ may only create a third of the 40,000 jobs first announced

First Minister Alex Salmond’s claims that renewable energy developments could form not only the future of Scotland’s energy supply but also act as a major driver for job creation were called into question by the Auditor General.

Following an audit, Scotland’s Auditor General released a report which suggests job creation figures are closer to 13,000 than the 40,000 initially suggested. The report also says the government’s plans  to have the equivalent of 100% of the nation’s energy produced by renewable sources by 2020, are progressing slower than initially anticipated.

More public money to be invested in renewable energy

The Auditor General estimated that £209 million have been invested in renewable infrastructures in the past 10 years and expects this amount to increase drastically to £264 million over the next two years.

The report also underlines the slower than anticipated progress of many renewable initiatives, which is linked to changes implemented by the UK government as well as private sector delays. These setbacks have left many public bodies with access to funding but no projects to invest in.

Auditor General and Accountable Officer Caroline Gardner said: “While there are aspects the Scottish Government and other public bodies should improve, the main challenge is that private sector investment has been slower than expected, reflecting the state of the economy and the uncertainty of developments in the wider UK energy sector.”

Initiatives ‘progressing more slowly than anticipated’

Speaking on the report, Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “We recognise, as the report does, that renewable energy projects are progressing more slowly than anticipated owing to factors such as the current economic climate and changes in UK energy policy.

“With the uncertainty surrounding UK energy policy we are responding to these market conditions by re-profiling our renewables budget, including our flagship Renewable Energy Investment Fund, so that the sector can be confident of continuing support into the future.”

Murdo Fraser, energy spokesperson for the Conservative party said: “The SNP has form for misleading the public on renewables jobs after claiming 18,000 worked in the sector, when in-fact it’s only 11,000.”

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  • Neville Sheldon

    When purchasing a new car, avoid black and dark colours. They blend in with the darkness particularly in unlit roads.

  • Richard Goude

    The running daylight lights on cars is a good idea but so many drivers don’t put their proper lights on when the light level is low which means no rear lights, some drivers don’t realise that lights are their to BE SEEN as well as to see.

  • Stacy Larkin

    This is why I always buy cars with under-fitted neon lights and V6 engines, so that my glowing vehicle is incredibly noisy with a pink and yellow glow during those dark nights.

  • Jim Thomson

    Look at the Jimmy Beam Downlights (JBDL) for the sides of vehicles and trailers. It offers a ‘keep clear’ margin along the sides of the vehicle. JBDL are just bringing out in the New Year an all-in-one side marker / downlight for vans, cars, caravans, Buses and Trucks. It’s also being modified for cyclists. See .

  • RuariJM

    The figures you are giving for the British Standard Time experiment are misleading.

    The number of accidents occurring in the morning rose and they often involved school-age children. The experiment was pretty much universally hated and almost certainly had something to do with the Tories’ unexpected victory in the General Election in 1970.

    Every year we get this ill-informed campaign – but I’m pleased to see RoSPA are not involved this time, having been challenged directly last year to go back to their 1968-71 records and check, both what happened and what their attitude was back then.

    The rush hour in the morning is more concentrated than that in the afternoon. Work traffic and school traffic is more intensely sharing congested roads. That’s when you need most light, to reduce risk.

    If you need more, then bear in mind the energy cost. Heating buildings from cold, in the pitch dark, is more expensive, the longer the dark persists. Warmth carries on into the evening, reducing energy requirements.

    Shove this silliness back where it belongs – into the outer darkness. GMT/BST is the optimum choice we have, this far north and west. And more – there is a growing movement in Spain to align with GMT rather than to remain on CET.

  • Steve

    Changing the clocks does not change the hours of daylight so any energy saving is a myth. Let’s have more flexible working hours and spread the traffic out during the day. Peak travelling time is already between 7 and 9am and the evening rush a little more concentrated between 4 and 6pm – maybee that is why there are more accidents in the evening – just a numbers game!

  • Bill Aitch

    Since my co. van was trashed by vandals, I am now forced to travel, as best possible, complete with heavy tools, also materials, on public transport. While waiting a fair percentage of my day at various bus stops, I find that so many Lady, also gentleman car drivers, drive alone with empty cars. They do not give way to public transport, or any heavy vehicle. If, perchance, this vast majority of car drivers were to try car sharing, as on the Plains of Central Europe, and halve the number of private cars on the road, it would automatically halve thier half of the expence, and double the average speed of travel throughout the West Midlands, from 10mph, to 20mph, still yet well within the existing “speed-limit”. In Japan they beat the problem by putting most public transport on the overhead mono-rail, in China they keep the public transport on two-wheels, with two pedals, and a bell. Here in UK the state simply keep licencing ever more private cars, in order to create the greatest posssible gridlock, from 06:00hrs – 18:00hrs. every day. The w/ends are almost as bad. It also sells copious measures of fuel oil, at a profit of 150% of net retail to HM Customs office. I have served as a f/t trucker, on at least 5 continents, over a period of 45yrs. For many years 75% of all freight has travelled by night, with the average speed being twice that of the day, at over 50mph. For some time I was driving 400miles/night, x 5nights/wk, a total of 2,000mile/week. We have no hope of half that by day, and also have to face the petrol heads, and other boy racers, many of ’em around pension age. We also have so much idiotic parking preventing us from turning at various road junctions, as also blocking emergency access to most property/premisses. By doubling the average speed, we automatically halve the fuel consumption, and therefore, quarter the air/noise pollution. Increasing the expence/strain/stress, and blame, on truckers/bus-drivers, does not solve any problems. It is possible that all pedestrians, cyclist, and motorised two-wheelers could be compelled to wear Hi-Vis clothing, 24/7, and that all private cars could be painted in a “day-bright” reflective colour, as also compelling all vehicles to have the entire side/rear lights connected to the daylight running system. I would also like all light commercials to be fitted with tinted/heated mirrors as standard. Sadly, none of the above will ever occur, it would possibly put the entire insurance/legal industries completely out of business.

  • Denis Robinson

    What a Load of Brain Washing Trash……. you people believe anything the media says,
    how about this for common sense. the powers to be are feeding you trash in preparation for hiked car insurance during winter months due to higher accidents…. so they are telling/scare mongering you so they can justify there actions. when in reality these statistic are floored.
    Charities warn us of darker hours more accidents, My foot.
    This information will be fuelled through the Insurance propaganda media.