NICOLA STURGEON could deliver a terrifying situation for Britons, according to a former Scottish National Party (SNP) minister, who claimed: “England requires Scotland’s electricity to keep the lights on.”
The leader of the SNP has already sent a warning to Prime Minister Boris Johnson over “picking a fight with the democratic wishes of the Scottish people,” stating a second referendum was “a matter of when, not if”. But should she be successful, England could face turmoil, according to Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Government’s former Secretary for Rural Economy. He told the Guardian: “England does require Scotland’s electricity to keep the lights on.
“The reality is that the supplies of electricity in the UK, especially down south, are parlously tight.
“There have been successive warnings by Ofgem, the regulator, and it is difficult to see the response to those warnings as anything other than a serial failure to come up with any coherent strategic response.
“On a security of supply basis, England will require to receive imports of Scotland’s electricity for most of the time.”
His comments came ahead of the first Scottish independence vote, in which the country voted to remain as part of the UK.
But Scotland, which boasts one of the most favourable conditions in Europe for harvesting wind energy, has continued its pledge to become greener since.
In 2018, Mrs Sturgeon launched a major project boasting the world’s most powerful wind turbines and declared she wanted 50 percent of all of Scotland’s energy to come from renewables by 2030.
That same year, Scottish Power became the first major UK energy firm to completely drop fossil fuels in favour of wind power, after selling off its remaining gas and hydro stations to Drax for £702million.
And in 2019 it was reported that Scotland was producing enough wind energy to power the country twice over.
But its reliance on renewable energy, might also be its downfall.
Currently, the UK has single integrated energy markets for both electricity and natural gas. Mrs Sturgeon’s dream of rejoining the EU could threaten that.
The Scottish government’s independence proposal stated that a single UK-wide market for each of electricity and gas should continue.
But the Government argued that it saw no basis to justify continued cost-sharing and stated the arrangement “could not continue in its current form”.
Green energy would be of particular mutual interest to Scotland and the EU and would be valuable to help the EU meet its goal of climate neutrality by 2050.
Any increase in Scotland’s wind energy production could reportedly “be diverted to supply the EU with green energy,” which would appear to be a hammer blow for the rest of the UK.
But according to a report by Herbert Smith Freehills, the UK may not be as reliant on Scottish energy as Mr Ewing insinuated.
They stated in April: “In 2019 Scotland produced 15 percent of the UK’s electricity, but only used 10 percent of it, while England used 82 percent having produced 73 percent.
“More importantly, net exports from Scotland are largely a function of its high proportion of wind power capacity so only when these are generating electricity Scotland exports.
“At such times the main impact on the rest of the British market is for gas-fuelled power stations and other flexible capacity to reduce generation.
“Without the more diverse continuing British electricity market to draw on, Scotland’s reliance on intermittent wind generation might become more challenging.
“In this regard, we note that the Scottish government proposes to make substantial use of carbon capture and storage which could be a low carbon route to maintaining flexible fossil fuel generation and also making use of North Sea related assets.