TOM Gordon (“Tory Brexit insults helping the SNP’s case on devolution”, The
Herald, June 16) 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 estimate 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,
79 Queen Street, Castle Douglas.