THE chairman of the energy group which owns ScottishPower has called for a pan-European industry regulator to be established to ensure investment that delivers supply security and cuts carbon emissions at the same time.

Ignacio Galán made the comments in a week when SSE said it was to limit its commitment to offshore wind projects round Scotland.

Scottish Power itself announced in December that it was abandoning the £5.4 billion Argyll Array Offshore Wind Farm off the coast of Tiree, saying offshore wind technology would not make this viable within the next decade.

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Speaking at Iberdrola's annual general meeting in Bilbao, Mr Galán confirmed investments in wind power through its ScottishPower subsidiary under current regulatory conditions.

"We will continue investing in wind energy projects, both onshore and offshore, for which there is a clear framework for installations that will begin operations up to 2017," he said.

ScottishPower has approximately 1420MW of onshore wind generation capacity in the UK, including the most recent project, the 136MW Harestanes windfarm in Dumfries and Galloway.

Mr Galán said this will be increased further with the 389MW, £1.6bn, West of Duddon Sands windfarm offshore south west of Barrow in Furness, "which we expect to be fully operational this year".

Mr Galán said it was vital to create a single European regulator to promote a stable, predictable and coherent framework that could attract investment.