Scottish industry hails energy minister leaving Holyrood – Reuters

The Scottish renewable energy industry has thanked Holyrood Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse, who lost his seat in parliamentary elections last week.

The chief executive of the Scottish Renewables trade body, Claire Mack, said Wheelhouse had demonstrated a “deep understanding” of the renewable energy industry throughout his tenure as Minister of Energy and “Recognized its benefits for Scotland’s economy and environment”.

After failing to topple conservative incumbent Rachael Hamilton at Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire in the Borders, Wheelhouse hoped to enter Holyrood via the regional roster.

But SNP gains in other parts of southern Scotland mean the party garnered fewer list seats than in 2016, with Wheelhouse the main victim.

Under Holyrood’s proportional representation system, winning constituency seats in one region can be detrimental to a party’s chances of securing seats on the corresponding regional list as well.

Wheelhouse was first elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2011 and became Minister for Energy, Connectivity and Islands in 2018.

As Minister for Energy, he was responsible for Scotland’s energy strategy and renewable energy consents, and he chaired the Scottish Government’s Renewable Energy Strategic Leadership Group.

Claire Mack said: “Paul Wheelhouse’s time as Scottish Energy Minister has included some of the most important developments in renewable energy policy to date, including the re-establishment of onshore wind in the mechanism. contracts for difference, a new round of sea charter and the end of UK government support. for small renewable energies.

“Throughout, the Minister has shown a deep understanding of this industry and recognized its benefits for the Scottish economy as well as our environment, advocating for positive policy change in both Parliaments.

“Of particular note is his creation of the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council and his unwavering support for the District Heating Act (Scotland) as it progresses through Parliament.

“Scottish Renewables recognized these accomplishments with the well-deserved Outstanding Contribution Award at the 2019 Scottish Green Energy Awards.

“I wish Paul all the best in his future career and look forward to working with the next Scottish Government’s new Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Net Zero and Transport after their appointment later this month. “