London: United energy best for U.K.

Dec. 11, 2012 at 7:54 AM

LONDON, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Though Scotland is rich in renewable and conventional energy reserves, a single U.K. market may be more beneficial for all, the British energy secretary said.

Scotland plans a referendum for independence on 2014. The Scottish government maintains it could support itself financially in large part though oil and natural gas developments in the North Sea.

Scotland is one of the world leaders in renewable energy growth. In September, Edinburgh said there may be 24 billion recoverable barrels of oil and natural gas in the North Sea, worth an estimated $2.4 trillion.

British Energy Secretary Ed Davey, in an article in The Scotsman newspaper, writes the government in Edinburgh has "seized the opportunity" in conventional and renewable energy resources.

Davey, however, said the British government has helped play a key role in Scotland's success.

"Some argue that Scotland's energy resources alone are a guarantee of prosperity," he writes. "But I disagree."

A united kingdom, he writes, is a stronger market where the Scottish government can reach a broader consumer base for its resources.

"Independence raises fundamental questions about the future of our single energy market and our U.K.-wide ­incentive schemes, which the Scottish government must answer," said Davey.

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