Scotland to lose out in Rudd’s ‘dash for gas’ because of high UK transmission charges

Fergus Ewing
Fergus Ewing

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has warned that no new gas-fired power stations will be built north of the border – despite the new ‘dash for gas’ policy declared by his UK counterpart, Amber Rudd.

He said: “The UK Government has recognised belatedly that its policies have weakened energy security and pushed up bills but Amber Rudd has missed an opportunity to put in place new plans to address the gaps in UK energy policy, with few if any new actual incentives to drive energy generation. 

“Ms Rudd fails to point out that higher transmission charges in Scotland mean effectively that no new gas power stations would be built here because the costs of using the grid are higher than England.

“This regime which discriminates against Scottish generators affects all generators, and means that Scotland cannot attract new thermal generation when in competition with alternative sites in England. 

“Having failed to support Longannet, Peterhead or any new baseload in Scotland through the first capacity auction, the UK Government’s new ‘dash for gas’ is an admission of the seriousness of the UK’s energy crunch and a belated attempt to replace the UK’s ageing nuclear and coal fleet.

“With the UK energy strategy so reliant on gas-fired generation it is essential that the UK Government continues to support the construction of the world’s first full-scale gas carbon capture and storage project proposed for Peterhead Power station. 

“There is further bad news for Scotland’s renewables industry with no support for the cheapest renewable technologies, such as onshore wind, and a further year’s delay to awarding contracts to new renewables capacity, which is particularly concerning for projects on Scottish islands, and Scottish offshore wind developments. “

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