Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has warned that the UK Government needs an urgent review of its energy policy to ensure security of supply, as Longannet power station is due to close tomorrow (24 March) after 45 years of reliable service, with 2.4 GW of power leaving the system as a result.
Ewing also paid tribute to the staff at Longannet and highlighted the work being done to mitigate the impact of the early closure of Longannet on the local economy. He said:
“The shambles of the Westminster Tories energy policy sees the premature closure of Longannet happen at the same time as warnings continue about the narrowing gap between electricity demand and supply.
“With the closure of Longannet the margin of spare capacity will get even tighter, yet the Tories have put the brakes on the development of replacement capacity in Scotland, onshore and offshore wind power and the CCS project which would have resulted in increased low carbon thermal generation at Peterhead.
“They need an urgent rethink of their failing energy policy.
“As 45 years of electricity generation at Longannet comes to an end tomorrow (24 March) I pay tribute to all of Longannet staff for their work keeping the lights on in Scotland, and of course also to our coalminers who have mined the raw material to keep Longannet’s turbines turning. They have done a sterling job and we are rightly proud of them.
“The Longannet Task Force continues to focus on the needs of the workers, businesses and communities impacted by the early closure of Longannet Power Station.
“We are committed to working with all the members of the Task Force to deliver the best outcomes for those most affected by closure.
“That work builds on the huge investment that the Scottish Government and its agencies already bring to the wider area.
“Through the Longannet Task Force we will continue to support workers and contractors and work with communities to mitigate the impact of closure to ensure the best possible outcome for those affected by the closure.”