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Bowman urges more cash to boost renewable energy

Philip Bowman, the new chief executive of ScottishPower, yesterday attacked the planning constraints that slow the growth of renewable energy in the UK and he urged the government to stump up greater investment for renewable technology.

Bowman, who was speaking at the Scottish Renewables annual conference in Glasgow, was making his first public appearance as chief executive of Scotland's largest industrial company.

"There are clear planning issues which need to be resolved," he said. "In the US, it takes our PPM business three months to get permission for a windfarm. Here, it's closer to three years – if, that is, it happens at all.

"Grid constraints and queues for both onshore in Scotland and for offshore are further barriers to growth.

"For business, as many of you will know, what might be a barrier to growth today all too easily becomes a barrier to investment tomorrow."

He added: "If action is not taken quickly to remove the blockages we are currently experiencing, there is a real threat of doing lasting damage to the prospects of UK renewables."

Bowman, the former Allied Domecq chief executive who oversaw the 7.6bn sale of the drinks company to France's Pernod Ricard, joined ScottishPower in January.

Speculation has been rife that Bowman was hired at the utility giant to sell it, following ScottishPower's rejection of E.ON's 10.7bn takeover proposal in November. Bowman has refuted this.
Meanwhile, at yesterday's conference, Scottish... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
Bowman, who was speaking at the Scottish Renewables annual conference in Glasgow, was making his first public appearance as chief executive of Scotland's largest industrial company.

"There are clear planning issues which need to be resolved," he said. "In the US, it takes our PPM business three months to get permission for a windfarm. Here, it's closer to three years – if, that is, it happens at all.

"Grid constraints and queues for both onshore in Scotland and for offshore are further barriers to growth.

"For business, as many of you will know, what might be a barrier to growth today all too easily becomes a barrier to investment tomorrow."

He added: "If action is not taken quickly to remove the blockages we are currently experiencing, there is a real threat of doing lasting damage to the prospects of UK renewables."

Bowman, the former Allied Domecq chief executive who oversaw the £7.6bn sale of the drinks company to France's Pernod Ricard, joined ScottishPower in January.

Speculation has been rife that Bowman was hired at the utility giant to sell it, following ScottishPower's rejection of E.ON's £10.7bn takeover proposal in November. Bowman has refuted this.
Meanwhile, at yesterday's conference, Scottish Renewables itself warned that the government's current energy review must ramp up practical action on planning consents, power line upgrades and funding support for wave and tidal projects to avoid "dire consequences for Scotland's renewables sector".

Bowman said: "I may be only two months in the job, but I speak from personal experience on this score.

"Practically my first decision as chief executive was to determine whether we would invest more than £170m in fitting flue gas desulphurisation technology at Longannet power station in order to opt into the large combustion plants directive."

He also said that without more investment from the government to bring low carbon technologies to commercial viability – such as carbon abatement technologies – he was concerned that "once again" the UK would miss out on opportunities to lead Europe in developing a new industry.

He added: "So, rather than get caught up in debates about whether the review should increase the targets for 2020 and beyond, my view is that there are more pressing issues to deal with."


Source: http://www.theherald.co.uk/...

MAR 28 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1932-bowman-urges-more-cash-to-boost-renewable-energy
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