Scientific Alliance tells MPs: Scotland needs new nuclear power to complement intermittent renewable energy generators

Scientific Alliance Logo Jan 2015Scientific Alliance Scotland and the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders Scotland (IESIS) have submitted written evidence to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee in its inquiry into security of electricity supply in Scotland. 

Copies of the written submission can be found at Scientific Alliance Scotland submission and IESIS submission.

The Alliance and IESIS have also been asked to provide further verbal evidence at the Committee session today (13 April) and will be represented by Professor Iain MacLeod.

The Alliance report says that intermittent wind-generated power cannot guarantee security of supply and that – in the absence of coal and/or gas-fired generation in Scotland with the closure of Longannet power station new-build nuclear is the only solution to large-scale base-load despatchable power.

Professor Iain MacLeod of the Scientific Alliance Scotland and IESIS, said: “The substantive issue in the inquiry is about reducing the uncertainty for investors in renewable energy projects.

“Such uncertainty arises from changes to policy depending on the preferences of government decision makers. This situation is indicative of serious problems in the methods being used in planning of the electricity system.

“I will advise the Committee that the levels of uncertainty for the whole system need to be reduced and that this can only be achieved by using risk assessment methods that are inherent in engineering methodology.  A main feature of such assessment is the comprehensive use of mathematical models to predict behaviour – before decisions are implemented.”

The Scientific Alliance was formed in 2001 to encourage politicians to make policy on the basis of scientific evidence rather than lobbying by vested interests.

It presents unbiased, peer-reviewed scientific and technical knowledge. Its role is to encourage a rigorous and rational approach to policymaking for the benefit of individual citizens and the economy.

Both the Scientific Alliance and SA Scotland are guided by their own Advisory Forum of qualified scientists and engineers.

IESIS is a multidisciplinary engineering institution with headquarters in Glasgow. Its Energy Strategy Group promotes the principle that in order that the Government has a fit for purpose policy for energy in general, and for the electricity system in particular, the use of engineering methodology must be adopted as a core feature in planning.

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