Scotland’s faltering green industrial revolution

Gibbs, E. (2021) Scotland’s faltering green industrial revolution. Political Quarterly, 92(1), pp. 57-65. (doi: 10.1111/1467-923X.12962)

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Renewable energy has long been central to SNP policy making and Scottish independence. During the 2014 referendum, green electricity generation was presented as a means for Scotland to achieve ‘reindustrialisation’. Despite a world‐leading transition in electricity supply, the Scottish government has struggled to develop renewables manufacturing. Scotland’s largest offshore engineering company, BiFab, entered administration in 2020. This article explains the faltering of Scotland’s green industrial revolution. First, it assesses renewables’ privileged place in SNP perspectives, underlining its deep roots in North Sea oil and criticisms of British governments’ mismanagement of offshore opportunities. Second, the failure of market‐led policy making to provide the anticipated industrial benefits from offshore wind developments is explained through the domineering role of foreign state‐owned enterprises and global supply chains in the UK’s renewables sector. The conclusion argues that older nationalist perspectives offer remedies, but these require a more active industrial policy that diverges from the current approach of the Scottish Government.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gibbs, Dr Ewan
Authors: Gibbs, E.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
Journal Name:Political Quarterly
ISSN (Online):1467-923X
Published Online:06 February 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Political Quarterly 92(1): 57-65
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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