During a visit to Drax‘s ‘Hollow Mountain’ Cruachan Power Station in Argyll, Gray expressed his support for the industry.
Drax is advancing plans for a new underground pumped storage hydro plant at the site, with an investment of £500 million.
Pumped storage hydro plants function as colossal water batteries, utilising turbines to pump water from lower reservoirs to upper ones during periods of surplus energy.
This stored power is subsequently harnessed when demand outpaces supply.
Scottish Government Energy Secretary Neil Gray MSP said: “Scotland is a global leader in the production of renewable energy, which will play an increasingly important role in the transition to a net zero electricity system by 2045.
“However, pumped hydro storage, an important low carbon technology, is currently ineligible for UK Government support. UK Government inaction on this issue represents a significant obstacle to progress and risks failing to secure economic benefits, such as creating thousands of good quality, green jobs.”
A UK Government spokesperson told Energy Live News: “The UK has blazed a trail globally for green growth – having already attracted billions for over a decade in green investment with Scotland playing a key role and benefiting hugely from this work.
“Our plans to power up Britain are expected to attract a further £100 billion investment and support 480,000 jobs across the UK, including Scotland, by 2030.
“Pumped hydro storage will help deliver greater energy security and economic growth and we have already confirmed our intention to enable investment in these technologies while removing regulatory barriers.”