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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-04291: Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 2 November 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has carried out of investor confidence in the energy market following the Brexit vote.

Answered by: Keith Brown 21 November 2016

Since the EU referendum, we have been engaging regularly with energy stakeholders to understand the implications of the vote, including the impact on investor confidence.

The Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy has had a series of one-to-one meetings with senior representatives of the energy sector to understand their concerns, and he and the Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe jointly hosted an event in Edinburgh for energy stakeholders on 21 September 2016 to hear the sector's views on the challenges, opportunities and way forward following the EU referendum.

At the 17th meeting of the National Economic Forum on 26 October 2016, the First Minister spoke to around 150 business and public sector leaders - including representatives from the energy sector - about the impact of Brexit on Scottish businesses.

Energy stakeholders have highlighted that investor confidence was already low in the renewable energy sector as a result of recent UK Government policy changes, and prolonged uncertainty may see existing or planned energy investments stall. EY's latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index, published in October 2016, saw the UK fall to 14th place - its lowest position yet in the rankings.

We are determined to do everything we can to mitigate the impact of Brexit on the energy industry in Scotland and we will use all the powers and influence available to us to provide the stability that the industry and consumers need.