Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Friday, 16 April 2010 12:55 UK

Call to support renewables sector

Alex Salmond at Verdo renewables
Alex Salmond looked at products made by Verdo in Grangemouth

SNP leader Alex Salmond says supporting jobs in Scotland's renewable industry would be a key pledge in his party's manifesto to be published next week.

He believes the country can lead the world in renewable energy.

"SNP MPs will work hard to turn green energy opportunity into green energy jobs," Mr Salmond said.

He was speaking while on a campaign visit to the Verdo Renewables plant in Grangemouth along with Linlithgow and Falkirk East SNP candidate, Tam Smith.

The plant, which produces wood pellets and briquettes, opened earlier this year, creating 20 jobs on site with a further 30 jobs in the harvesting, transport and distribution process.

SNP MPs will challenge the UK government to release the £200m fossil fuel levy so it can be invested in developing the renewable industry
Alex Salmond
SNP leader

Mr Salmond said: "Scotland can lead the world in renewable energy - not just wind and wave but innovative biofuel projects such as Verdo.

"But Scotland's renewables sector needs champions if we are to make the most of this potential.

"At the heart of our manifesto to be published next week will be a series of actions designed to support jobs and the renewables industry in Scotland.

"SNP MPs will challenge the UK government to release the £200m fossil fuel levy so it can be invested in developing the renewable industry instead of languishing in a London bank account.

"It is a scandal that this money isn't available to invest now to create employment and give our economy a much needed boost."

He said the "London parties" were proposing to "choke off" investment in recovery when Scotland's economy needed "stimulus and support to grow".

Mr Salmond added that the SNP was offering an alternative.

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