By Paul Homewood

Is there any government anywhere in the world more ludicrous than the SNP?

The leader of the SNP has already sent a warning to Prime Minister Boris Johnson over “picking a fight with the democratic wishes of the Scottish people,” stating a second referendum was “a matter of when, not if”. But should she be successful, England could face turmoil, according to Fergus Ewing, the Scottish Government’s former Secretary for Rural Economy. He told the Guardian: “England does require Scotland’s electricity to keep the lights on. The reality is that the supplies of electricity in the UK, especially down south, are parlously tight.

On a security of supply basis, England will require to receive imports of Scotland’s electricity for most of the time.”

Does this dolt actually think Scotland owns this electricity? It belongs to the myriad of generators up and down the country, and it is transmitted around Scotland by companies such as SP Energy Networks, a subsidiary of the Spanish company Iberdrola, who own and maintain the grid and transmit part of this generation to the National Grid in England.

But just suppose Scottish electricity was no longer transmitted to England? That is, if course, the situation we often find ourselves at times of low wind, and we simply turn up the gas fired generators instead. But the effects would be calamitous in Scotland.

In 2019, Scottish generators produced 49.9TWh, of which 15.6 TWh was exported to England. Nearly half of that generation was wind – 22.3 TWh.

Wind power is, of course, heavily subsidised. Annual subsidies for Scottish wind farms are in the region of £1.3bn, and these are paid for by electricity consumers across the UK. If that power was no longer exported, the bill would fall on Scottish customers alone, which would amount to £520 per household. The alternative would see wind farms going bankrupt without subsidiesand hundreds of broken down turbines littering the countryside. It would certainly mean no business would dream of building any new wind farms there.

But even worse, what would happen to all of that surplus wind power? Wind farms would have to be paid constraint payments to switch off, which last year averaged £74/MWh. Instead of exporting 15.6 TWh, Scotland would have to foot a constraint payment bill of £1.2bn.

But it gets worse. Nuclear power contributed a quarter of Scottish generation in 2019, but a chunk of this will disappear when Hunterston B shuts next year. The other nuclear plant, Torness, is not likely to be around much longer either. That leaves

Peterhead CCGT and a small amount of hydro and other bits and pieces. Pray, Mr Ewing, what would Scotland do when the wind stopped blowing?


June 20, 2021