Scotland is, as The National has reported and as all experts from Prof McCrone onwards have agreed, rich with energy resources. These days, what matters is that most of these are sustainable. Where once oil should have given Scotland a wealth and prosperity to rival that of Norway, now it is wind, sun, Highland water and its tides that provide Scotland with a new opportunity to be one of the richest nations on earth because is natural resource endowment is so strong.

What we know is that the opportunity that Prof McCrone identified in his original report on the oil wealth was squandered. Unionist politics ensured that was the case. As has been documented in The National this week, the gains from Scottish oil revenues did not go back to Scotland.

They did instead go to Westminster. There they made up one pound in every ten of UK government receipts by 1984. As such they were used to break strikes, break British industry, break society and increase the wealth of the best off as inequality increased at an astounding rate during that decade.

All of that should teach us two things. The first is that Westminster cannot be relied upon to act in Scotland’s best interests. In fact, it can’t even be relied upon to act in the UK’s best interests. Second, and as importantly, it says that Scotland can become a renewables exporting powerhouse with independence, but not while in the Union.

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This second of these issues is now the most important. The lesson from McCrone is that we should look to the future. Sitting on the cusp of the next Scottish energy revolution that is necessary. And it is hard nosed reasoning that says Scotland must have control of that process. To summarise my argument, it comes down to three things. They relate to motivation, management and method.

We all know Scotland can deliver wealth from renewable energy but the motivation for generating that energy matters to the success of the process. I have long rejected the idea that whether an activity is in the state or private sector has much impact on its success. But I do believe that the motivation for undertaking any activity is critical.

Motivation matters because it provides the energy that drives an activity. So, in this case Scottish renewable resources can be exploited by yet another austerity-led Westminster government desperately trying to balance its books as the UK sinks yet further into the neoliberal post-Brexit mire.

Or that renewable energy could be used as the foundation of a new independent nation state populated by people anxious and willing to make their mark on the world stage. It does not need management rocket science to work out which of these structures is likely to work best. Motivation matters, and Scotland has it.

So too does good management matter. The job of management is to translate the goals of those who motivate a project so that they can be turned into practical action. Good management has three characteristics.

It understands and ideally shares the motivation for a project. In that case it can, secondly, get those working for the project to buy into it meaning that they work to best effect. And, thirdly, it is local, meaning it can pick up and respond to the issues that arose as conflicts happen, as they inevitably will.

There is no way good managers will be found for Scottish renewable projects if their purpose is to raise funding for a failing Westminster system of government. We know that right across the UK people despair about that system of government. In that case two of the three criteria for successful management of Scottish renewables cannot exist if the industry is controlled outside Scotland.

As importantly, control to benefit Westminster will also be outside Scotland as well. That means management will not be locally attuned. Management control within Scotland will always beat control from outside it.

Finally, there is method. Method refers to the way in which management is exercised. In the best projects this is cooperative. There is a willingness to seek solutions together. In the worst projects it is confrontational. There is an imposed view. Those engaged on a project are told what to do and can take it or leave it.

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Confrontational management is the UK way now. Scotland has to, and can do better than that if it believes that renewable energy is the foundation for a common future and builds that sector on the basis of that ethos.

We know the result of getting the motivation, management and methods of working right on any project. That project flies in a way it otherwise could not.

What we also know is that Scottish renewable energy can deliver power, come what may. That cannot be denied.

My suggestion, however, is that the Scottish renewable sector can only thrive and deliver at its best when the motivation for developing this industry, the management of it and the method of its operation can be aligned. That will only be possible in an independent Scotland.

Scotland can be an energy powerhouse, but not within the Union. Scotland has to be independent to lead the way in renewable energy.