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Renewables ruling ‘deals blow to Salmond’

Alex Salmond’s claim that Scotland’s renewable energy industry would continue to be subsidised by consumers south of the Border in the event of a Yes vote has been undermined by a European Court of Justice ruling, it has been claimed.

In a case involving a Finnish wind power company selling power to Sweden, the court ruled that governments are not obliged to pay subsidies to energy producers in another country.

Utilities analyst Peter Atherton, of investment advisers Liberium, said: “This judgment opens the way for the UK Government to cease to support renewables in the event of a Yes vote.”

The Scottish Government said a deal on cross-border green power subsidies -worth about £500million to the industry in Scotland – would be negotiated in the event of a Yes vote.

The spokesman said: “Experts have made it clear that in an independent Scotland there will be security of supply of very affordable energy and that the rest of the UK will need Scottish electricity for the foreseeable future.

“The continuation of a system of shared support for renewables and capital costs among consumers in Scotland and the rest of the UK is a reasonable consideration for meeting the UK’s green commitments.”