Glasgow would be Scots' green HQ

First Minister Alex Salmond speaks at a public meeting held in Lochaber High SchoolPics by Alan Peebles

First Minister Alex Salmond

First Minister Alex Salmond said a new Energy Department for an independent Scotland would be co-headquartered in Aberdeen and Glasgow – with the latter specialising in clean energy.

The new department, which would have an estimated staff of around 300 across both centres, would capitalise on the expertise of oil and gas in Aberdeen, and on Glasgow’s influential position as a low-carbon engineering centre, Salmond said.

Scotland votes on 18 September on whether to become independent from the rest of the UK.

The energy industry will be a key sector of the economy in an independent Scotland, as well as presenting an “unrivalled opportunity to boost our energy wealth, support employment and grow our economy,” added the First Minister.

According to Salmond, with independence Scotland would have new powers in areas such as energy regulation and the ability to target and apply financial incentives.

Also, with a new Scotland-based Energy Department and control over key economic levers, he claimed the potential to boost the energy industry and bring benefits to consumers and the wider economy would be enormous.

Salmond’s government has made much of its credentials as a renewable energy pace-setter since coming to power in 2011.

The announcement of the plans for the new Energy Department coincides with the UK and Scottish cabinets holding separate meetings in the country. The full UK cabinet is meeting in Aberdeen, while the Scottish Government is meeting in Portlethen.

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