By Paul Homewood

 One of the curious things about the BBC is how their Scottish operation fawns over the SNP so much.

This time they have published a grossly disingenuous article about renewables there, which goes on to put most of the credit on Scotland’s climate targets:

Scotland has narrowly missed a target to generate the equivalent of 100% of its electricity demand from renewables in 2020.

New figures reveal it reached 97.4% from renewable sources.

This target was set in 2011, when renewable technologies generated just 37% of national demand.

Industry body Scottish Renewables said output had tripled in the last 10 years, with enough power for the equivalent of seven million households.

Chief executive Claire Mack, said: „Scotland’s climate change targets have been a tremendous motivator to the industry to increase deployment of renewable energy sources.

„Renewable energy projects are displacing tens of millions of tonnes of carbon every year, employing the equivalent of 17,700 people and bringing enormous socio-economic benefits to communities.“

n 2019 Scotland met 90.1% of its equivalent electricity consumption from renewables, according to Scottish Government figures.

Scotland has some of the most ambitious climate targets in the world, with its Climate Change Bill setting out a legally binding target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2045.

‘Cheap, clean renewables’

Onshore wind delivers about 70% of capacity, followed by hydro and offshore wind as Scotland’s main sources of renewable power.

WWF Scotland praised the new figures, but said more needed to be done to cut emissions from transport and heating.

Although it may be true that Scottish renewable generation amounted to 97% of demand, 38% of Scottish generation in total was exported to England last year, according to DUKES. Therefore you cannot look at the Scottish grid in isolation.

Without that export facility, more than half of their wind output would have to be dumped at huge cost. More importantly, the large share of wind power in Scotland is only sustainable because of massive investment in transmission capacity to England, which allows the National Grid to balance supply and demand. Without this, Scotland’s power grid would collapse.

We now come on to this strange claim – ‘Cheap, clean renewables’. On the contrary, wind power is extremely expensive, and was only installed in the first place because of massive subsidies paid for by all British energy consumers, not just Scottish. It had very little, if anything, to do with Scottish government climate targets.

Most of Scotland’s wind power is subsidised via Renewable Obligation Certificates, which are worth £50.80 per MWh. Based on 2019 figures, wind output totalled 22 TWh in Scotland, meaning a subsidy of £1.1bn a year. If Scottish householders had to pay all of this themselves, it would amount to £440 each.

I wonder why the BBC forgot to mention this rather inconvenient fact?


March 26, 2021 at 11:42AM