The UK Government’s energy policy is to blame for the threat of closure currently hanging over Longannet power station and for stifling energy investment in Scotland, the SNP claimed last night following a key evidence session at Holyrood’s Energy Committee.
The party said there was ‘further confirmation’ that the economic and regulatory energy framework is continuing to fail Scotland and stifle investment in new thermal generation in the evidence given by senior representatives from Scottish Power and OFGEM
Neil Clitheroe of Scottish Power outlined how the charges Longannet faced were disadvantaging Scotland and Martin Crouch, a Senior Partner at OFGEM, said that it was “less likely” that a new gas plant would be located in Scotland.
Douglas Chapman, the SNP’s Westminster candidate for Dunfermline and West Fife, said: “I was astonished that the message put out by Labour was that we should be anticipating closure at the end of the month. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“This power plant must remain open for a variety of reasons including jobs, security of supply and quality of supply in the years ahead and for the wider Scottish economy.”
“Expert witnesses have confirmed that transmission charges mean new thermal generation is unlikely be located in Scotland – and the blame for this lies at the door of the UK Government.
“The threat to Longannet and to the development of Scotland’s energy sector is directly related to transmission charges and this poses a major barrier to new power generation in Scotland.
“A 1,000 jobs at and in the supply chain for Longannet have been put at risk in large part due to transmission charges. The UK Government and National Grid have the power to resolve this situation and must now take action.
“The security of Scotland’s future electricity supply and the jobs of the many people who work in the sector must not be put at risk by the continuation of this unfair practice.”
BOOKING NOW: Power Scotland Conference 19 March: Is our Energy Future Secure and Balanced? – http://goo.gl/X50kIS
The welcome address will be given by Professor Sir Jim McDonald – Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, followed by the opening address from Murdo Fraser, MSP, Convenor, Energy and Enterprise Committee, Scottish Parliament. The Keynote Speaker is Alistair Buchanan CBE Chairman, Power & Utilities Practice, KPMG, and the closing address is by Tom Greatrex, MP, the Shadow Energy Minister.
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