Two separate consultations have been published on renewable energy development in Scotland:
- One which proposes the combination of capital grants plus Renewable Obligation Certificates for wave and tidal stream projects; and
- The other which will shift the determination of all onshore hydropower scheme applications of 50 MW or less to planning authorities.
Mather says these measures are necessary in order for Scottish renewable energy policy to remain “responsive to the needs of the market”; a market that has an estimated 25% of Europe's offshore wind and tidal resource and 10% of its wave potential.
The Energy Minister hopes that: “By giving councils the powers to take planning decisions on projects between one and 50 MW it will encourage developers to size their scheme appropriate to its environment and not be deterred by a low threshold.”
Although, Mathers observes: “It is essential the Westminster Government delivers a level playing field when it comes to the costs of supplying energy to the grid - that means ending the system whereby punitive charges are imposed on energy suppliers in Scotland, while those in other parts of the UK are paid subsidies."