Ewing slams UK power policy

Lack of investment clarity at UK level has led to uncertainty for the renewables industry and a dangerously tight gap between generation and demand, claims a new report from the Scottish government.

The report, entitled UK energy policy and Scotland’s contribution to security of supply, was cited by ministers in Edinburgh, as renewables again found themselves in the spotlight ahead of the September referendum on Scottish independence.

Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing said his country’s significant generation resources are vital for the UK as a whole, given the state of the British power system, which he claimed had been badly served from London.

UK system operator National Grid has warned that planned connections have been cut by more than half, Ewing said.

“Having only 2% reserve energy in the system is extraordinarily risky and could result in big bill price hikes. The laws of supply and demand and the cost of bringing more expensive power plants onto the grid to meet peak demand will drive up household energy bills the closer the UK gets to having no spare generation capacity,” said Ewing.

“The more capacity you have available – especially from lower marginal cost generation such as renewables – the lower wholesale energy prices will be, again highlighting the value of Scottish generation to every household across these islands,” he added.

“Scotland’s huge natural resources mean that we can supply electricity – reliably and affordably. This is the case now, and will be the case in the event of independence,” concludes the minister.