Brexit poses a skills and supply chain risk to Scotland’s renewable energy industry, its First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told delegates at Scottish Renewables’ conference.

Sturgeon urged the UK government to protect the sector from potential Brexit impacts and to provide further clarification regarding its effects on the industry.

“If we are taken out of the single market, it will hinder our supply chain and reduce our skills base,” said Sturgeon.

“If we are outside the internal energy market it could affect our influence on issues such as energy regulation and cross-border energy flows, something which is of increasing importance.”

Funding warning

Sturgeon also warned over the impact of loss of access to EU funding.

“Scotland has benefited from one of the biggest investments ever made by the European Investment Bank - the £500 million of funding they provided for the Beatrice offshore windfarm. Scotland has also done disproportionately well from EU support for research and innovation in the renewables sector. We want that to continue.

“Although the overall outlook for this sector is hugely positive, we need the UK Government to provide clarity on these points. A hard Brexit could potentially cause harm to our supply chain and skills base; our influence on big decisions on issues such as regulation and energy flows; and our access to funding.”

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