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Rennie proposes to scale-up renewables to win work

April 15, 2021 12:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today used a visit to Fife College to announce the latest in a series of proposals for green investment and renewables, saying that Scottish workers must be given the best chance to manufacture offshore wind turbines.

The party proposes a Scotland-wide effort to scale-up capacity and compete with the world, avoiding further fiascos such as BiFab missing out on any of the work from the well over 100 turbines on its doorstep.

It says it will take special care to give the regions of Scotland heavily invested in fossil fuels a fair transition to new industries which use their immense technical, scientific and engineering skills. This will include establishing a successor to the Just Transition Commission, with a membership that includes affected workers and communities, trade unions and environmental interests.

Willie Rennie commented:

"I am proud to be putting the recovery and the climate first.

"At this election I am setting out proposals to build up new green industries and create thousands of jobs through investment in warmer homes, renewables, the circular economy and hydrogen. We have the wind, the waves, the people and skills to make it all work.

"Alex Salmond promised we would be the Saudi Arabia of renewables. The SNP make big announcements but don't back them up. The workers at BiFab know that better than anyone.

"They were told by the Scottish Government that the takeover it had brokered was "a very good day" and that jobs were safe, only to be handed P45s just 21 days later. The yards then only had capacity to bid for four of the 114 offshore turbines right on its doorstep. The work all sailed off the Middle East and China.

"If somebody is spending £1.4billion on wind turbines within eyesight of the Scottish shoreline, then Scottish industry must be in a position to win a contract for more than just the photography.

"Scottish Liberal Democrats will scale-up and deliver jobs at every stage of the process and use Scotland's immense technical, scientific and engineering skills to tackle the climate emergency. It's a task that can only be done with a government that will put recovery first."