Rising gas prices and instability in the world's energy markets caused by Russia’s actions in Ukraine have brought into 'sharp relief' the need to accelerate the transition to renewable energy sources, Scotland's Net Zero and Energy Secretary Michael Matheson has said.

“I am acutely aware that, right now, families and households across Scotland are facing rising energy costs alongside high inflation. It is why we need a more consistent and stable form of energy supply. The current highly unpredictable nature of gas and oil prices add to the imperative to accelerate the development of alternative sources of energy," said Mr Matheson.

“Scotland has among the richest renewable energy producing potential in the whole of Europe – but is unfairly penalised when it comes to the transmission charges applied, giving a direct disincentive to producers and investors.

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“In Scotland, nearly 100% of our net electricity demand already comes from renewable sources and we are focused on reducing energy demand and accelerating the deployment of renewable energy," he said.

“The recent outcome of the ScotWind leasing round was a tremendous vote of confidence in Scotland’s growing offshore renewables sector. The level of ambition shown by the market recognises the seriousness of Scotland’s commitment to achieving our net zero targets and sustainable economic growth.

“ScotWind is by far the world’s largest commercial round for floating offshore wind and breaks new ground in putting large-scale floating wind technology on the map at GW scale.

“There is a bright future for the energy sector in Scotland, and for a revitalised North Sea, in supporting our transition to a net-zero energy system. The Scottish Government will do everything in its control to ensure that we deliver on that vision.”