Letter Ian Moir: The Herald provides an interesting insight to the deficiencies of devolution, and none more so than the energy policies being adopted at Holyrood on the production of energy, an area that was ignored by Andrew Wilson in his Growth Report. What our 129 MSPs never highlight is the lack of back-up should the wind fail to blow and the rain falls as snow over the winter. Unlike the rest of the UK (rUK) with a large gas turbine capability, the Scottish grid cannot meet maximum winter demand as there is only limited gas turbine plant north of the Border. The demise of the UK grid means that, to keep the lights on should there be insufficient renewable capacity, electricity would have to be bought from rUK. On a warm autumn evening in 2016 the strike price hit £5,000 per MWhour. Has Scottish Grid an estimat e of the price on a freezing wet night on a January afternoon ? Would £50,000 per MWhour be a reasonable assumption? If so, to cover the import of 3,000 MW, consumers face a bill of around £7 billion over a three-week period. In addition, as demand for energy plummets over the summer, there will be a multibillion pound bill to cover the high cost of constraint payments as there is limited grid trans-Border capacity plus the problem that rUK consumers will no longer be liable for paying 92% of renewable subsidies. Peerhaps MSPs should demand that Mr Wilson issues an addendum to his report covering the impact of energy costs in an independent Scotland.
Herald 19th June 2018 read more »