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Scottish chief urges energy demand inquiry

The head of industry body Scottish Engineering has called for an independent inquiry into future energy needs.

Peter Hughes said that although his body supported renewable options, he wanted to see a balanced, affordable, sustainable and secure energy policy.

Speaking at the industry’s annual awards ceremony, Mr Hughes called for an open and transparent debate and said there was too much political spin and hype.

Mr Hughes said his organisation was keen to see a strong vibrant Scottish and UK renewable energy sector.

However he warned: “Being a supporter of renewable energy as we are does not mean we fall silent and don’t question some of the sensational claims that are being made.”

He said he wanted to know how many long-term jobs would be created by the sector and the ongoing cost and level of subsidies and “why are we turning our back entirely on nuclear”.

Mr Hughes also took the opportunity to announce he was retiring as chief executive of Scottish Engineering after 15 years in the post.