Letter A McCormick. The Scottish Government’s energy plans will make it challenging for Scotland to leave the UK, writes a Scotsman reader. Further planned electrification of transport having been announced the other day by the Scottish Government, the Greens of course demanded even more with, as usual, no suggestion of how this could be achieved. Those of us who have made even the odd glance at grid information over the past few months will be aware that, even with nuclear and gas still in operation, we now have a non-autonomous supply system. This situation will drastically worsen with increasing electrification supplied almost entirely by intermittent sources. We are to believe that stored energy installations will solve the problem. Plugging in a few numbers in fact shows that the sum total of existing and planned (if it ever gets built) pumped hydro storage will amount to, at be st, a couple of hours whereas we know that wind power, by far the greatest generation source, frequently drops to negligible amounts for a day or so at a time. The idea that battery storage could plug the gap borders on the risible, and we should note the irony of relying on intermittent sources to recharge systems installed to combat that very deficiency! A “Sexit” Scotland would thus be faced with the total cost of generation (including restraint payments for times of potential overproduction), have only low-cost intermittent power to trade for the high cost on-demand article necessary to keep the lights on and will have to pay for the upgraded links necessary to import this. Some people have estimated that this will add thousands to the average electricity bill. Isn’t it ironic that it is the SNP which, by banning (or is that just an indefinite moratorium?) through misuse of planning control the development of new gas and nuclear, has effectively wiped out the po ssibility of Scotland being independent of the UK!
Scotsman 8th Sept 2018 read more »