Scottish Energy Minister slams ‘irrational’ UK policy which is forcing closure of Scottish Power’s Longannet plant

longannet_720x400UK energy policy was labelled ‘totally irrational’ by Scottish Ministers today as Parliament was updated on the closure of Longannet power station next March.

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing outlined the impact the closure will have on Scotland’s economy and the actions underway to mitigate the effects and support workers.

He told Holyrood MPs: “Facing unfair transmission charges and rising costs of carbon, Scottish Power concluded that electricity production at Longannet is no longer commercially viable. This is deeply regrettable, and in our view unavoidable and will have far reaching consequences for the workers, businesses and communities impacted.

“With spare capacity across the UK running perilously low, Longannet could have played an important role in keeping lights for several years to come as we continue towards cleaner forms of generation, all the more so in light of yesterday’s announcement that a similar sized power station – Eggborough in Yorkshire – will also close.

“Yet UK energy policy remains totally irrational. Just when we need new, cleaner generation to safeguard our security of supply, the UK Government is doing nothing to incentivise this, forcing the country’s second largest power station to close while slashing support for renewables.

“We fought hard to achieve a different outcome for Longannet yet the UK Government, from the Prime Minister down, refused to lift a finger.

“Following news in March that Longannet had lost out on National Grid’s voltage control contract, I made a Parliamentary statement and have since met twice with Scottish Power, Fife Council and workforce representatives to assess the situation and consider ways to secure the best possible outcomes for those affected.”

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