IN the winter of 2010 I started a new career in the energy industry. The oil price was as high as confidence was in the sector – and the UK Treasury was reaping the rewards.

My time in the energy sector was largely focused on dealing with business change and companies that were adapting to mergers and acquisitions to expand their work, particularly in green energy. At the two companies I worked for – the biggest subsea company in the world, Subsea 7, and then service company, Stork – there was a wealth of innovation and a vast skill base. So much so, that the skills of staff across the companies were in phenomenal demand both at home and abroad. 

I learned pretty quickly that if you stepped into any energy capital in the world, you’d hear a Scottish accent before a local one, and more often than not, it was an Aberdonian one. Our people, their skills and innovations have been have been honed in the North Sea, one of the most challenging environments in the world. Scotland's energy wealth has also kept the UK economy afloat for decades.

The National:

That’s why, as we mark the 50th anniversary of the McCrone report, the lack of a sovereign fund hurts so badly. Indeed, it is a tragedy. But there’s still time to create one for our green energy.

An energy market so broken that the big companies watch the profits pour in as people and businesses in our communities go bankrupt. A market where grid connection charges in Scotland are so high, green energy developers, like one in my Livingston constituency, have to build a solar farm twice as large as it would be in the south of England, where many companies get paid to connect their projects to the grid. 

Read more from our McCrone 50th Anniversary special edition here:

McCrone is one part of the story. It’s a tangible and stark reminder of how Westminster, no matter who is in charge, will squeeze every ounce it can from Scotland's energy for its own gain.

I had some phenomenal and also some very challenging experiences working in the energy industry. It shaped me and helped me solidify my views on why Scotland was so well placed to lead the world in energy policy, specifically green energy.

However on Friday the 23rd of August 2013 a Super Puma was ditched into the sea off Shetland killing four people, including Stork employee Gary McCrossan. I was the head of communications and family liaison contact that night. The people I worked alongside to deal with and understand those tragic events are some of the best in the business, and it’s an experience that has left a deep mark on me. 

The National:

The people that work in our energy sector do remarkable work, but they also do very dangerous work and there are many, arguably too many, who have given their life to keep the lights on across the nations of the UK. Now more than ever we need to show the respect and support for those workers. A just transition and green energy revolution will see those vital skills and jobs retained and developed.

Westminster sold us out 50 years ago and it won’t hesitate to do it again. Independence is the only way we can truly protect Scotland's long-term energy security and ensure the green energy revolution gets the support it needs, not just for Scotland but the other nations of the UK too.