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Last Updated: Monday, 16 July 2007, 09:16 GMT 10:16 UK
Energy research plan sparks row
Electricity pylons
The energy institute would have been a major boost for Aberdeen
A row has broken out over Scotland's bid to host a 1bn research centre for energy.

Aberdeen has been beaten by Glasgow to be Scotland's nomination to be home for the UK-wide institute, which will study new technology.

The decision comes despite backing for the north east coming from CBI Scotland and the oil and gas industry.

The Scottish government said the decision was made by academics set up by the previous administration.

This is a bad decision for Aberdeen and for Scotland
Richard Baker
North East Labour MSP

The Energy Technologies Institute will investigate how to generate electricity while minimising carbon gases which scientists say contribute to global warming.

It will be funded by energy companies and the government.

First Minister Alex Salmond said it would have been "sensible" for Aberdeen to have been chosen as Scotland's nomination.

North East Labour MSP Richard Baker said ministers were always supposed to have the final say.

He said: "I am deeply saddened and astonished by this decision. It is a huge opportunity lost for the long term prosperity of the city and frankly a betrayal of Aberdeen by the SNP executive.

"No objective judgement can see Glasgow as being a better place to host the new technology institute.

"This is a bad decision for Aberdeen and for Scotland, as this would have been the logical home for what will be a crucial development in the future of the UK energy industry."

Raise concerns

Energy Minister Jim Mather insisted he had no say in the decision, and blamed the previous administration for setting up the committee.

He said any objections raised by Aberdeen into the decision making process should be "properly examined."

Aberdeen North SNP MSP Brian Adam hoped the city would be quick to raise its concerns.

He said: "Unfortunately this is yet another example of the mess the new SNP government has inherited from the Labour and Lib Dem administration.

"In one of his first speeches as energy minister, Jim Mather outlined that the SNP government's preferred location for the energy institute was Aberdeen which highlights the ridiculousness of the situation that the Scottish government was not able to have a say in the final decision.

"However, what we need now is for all sides to come together and ensure that any remaining possibility of the north east getting this energy institute is consolidated to ensure that Scotland's energy capital does not lose out."




SEE ALSO
Renewed calls for energy centre
16 Oct 06 |  North East/N Isles
Aberdeen hopes for energy centre
14 Sep 06 |  North East/N Isles

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