Govt’s Scottish Energy Strategy needs more hydro power, more district heating – and more storage heaters! (says SSE)

SSE's solution to heat de-carbonisation
SSE’s solution to heat de-carbonisation

As the pressure – and pace – of civil servant work in drafting the government’s new Scottish Energy Strategy for publication next month increases, one of Britain’s Big Six utilities has posted its wish-list for Scotland’s energy future.

Perth-based SSE has drawn up a six-point plan to optimise Scotland’s significant energy resources and expertise, de-carbonise its energy system, and put communities at the heart of new investment.

A company spokesman explained: The Scottish Government’s new energy strategy comes at the right time and can help enable Scotland to maximise benefits from innovation, cost reductions and new technologies.

“This could mean major improvements for the energy system and make a positive difference to energy consumers across Scotland.

While a GB-wide energy market is central to SSE’s position on the Scottish Energy Strategy, the company also wants the Scot-Govt to: –

  • Decarbonise heat use in Scotland by increasing the use of district heating systems;
  • Improve the stock of electric storage heaters to aid in the decarbonisation of heat;
  • Build on the success of onshore wind in Scotland through repowering and extending existing sites;
  • Maximise opportunities in large-scale pumped hydro power storage projects;
  • Support community investment and ownership in energy projects; and
  • Help tackle household fuel poverty through improved energy efficiency measures.

The spokesman added: “SSE understands it has a responsibility to the customers and communities it serves but with the energy system in Great Britain facing unprecedented changes, the Scottish Government’s strategy needs to be enduring and robust if it is to meet its stated objective of plotting an energy course for Scotland out to 2050.”

However, some of SSE’s wish-list policies will almost certainly not happen; for example: sen-and-scottish-energy-strategy-8-dec-2016See also:

Scottish Energy News revealed  just 10 weeks ago that current market and regulatory conditions preclude the building of new large-scale pumped hydro power plants in the UK, according to an expert independent report published by DNV GL. See:

EXCLUSIVE: SSE keeps 600MW Highlands hydro project on ice as new report shows prospects for large-scale new UK pumped storage power plants are bleak

As for storage heaters, these are highly unpopular with consumers because of poor heat output, high costs and inflexible timings.

Although some of the senior civil servants at St. Andrew’s Hoose who are closely involved in drafting the Scottish Energy Strategy are warmly in favour of storage heaters – this is a bit like the Transport Minister who is firmly in favour of buses and public transport FOR EVERYONE ELSE but not themselves.

Meanwhile, respected independent experts at Heriot Watt University have already highlighted how treating fuel poverty as a ‘health’ issue rather than an ‘energy’ issue would more effectively and more swiftly direct public resources into addressing the problem: See;

Nearly 20 years later, fuel poverty is still as high in Scotland as it was in 1996

fue-poverty-and-energy-inefficiency-8-dec-2016See also

Meanwhile, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has told MPs in Holyrood that: “We are working hard to reduce overall energy costs for Scottish consumers by improving energy efficiency and promoting Scottish engagement in the energy market to lower energy bills.”


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