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Longannet

While agreeing with Elizabeth Marshall (Letters, 25 August) over the incomprehensible price of the Hinckley contract I am unable to understand her claim of a consequent charge of £200 per person.

Her notion that somehow Scotland in particular is targeted because Longannet is closing does not stand examination; quite simply Longannet is no longer profitable.

The transmission charge unsurprisingly emphasised by both Fergus Ewing, minister for business, energy and tourism, and Alex Salmond was instituted ten years ago, so is not the reason.

The new low carbon tax would cost Longannet ten times the transmission charge but also Longannet has been running well below capacity for a number of years. The reason: wind-generated electricity always takes precedence.

The more this intermittent supply increases, the less fossil fuel back-up stations are used. And that is also the reason Cockenzie will not be replaced.

But this was made very clear four years ago. It is no longer profitable to build gas-fired power stations when they are little used unless the companies are paid many times more than the actual cost. The 100 per cent renewables policy of Mr Salmond now no longer looks clever but rather another fine SNP mess.

Privatisation of the electricity supply industry, initiated by Margaret Thatcher, unfortunately allowed unqualified politicians to announce electricity policies for purely political gain instead of ensuring security of supply.

The policy of the old Central Electricity Generating Board was to ensure Scotland was always securely supplied with its own electricity generated here, not dependent on elsewhere.

The policies of this government have ensured the complete opposite.

(Prof) Tony Trewavas FRS FRSE

Scientific Alliance 
Scotland

North St David Street

Edinburgh

Current Issues


Future costs of UK energy supply

The Scientific Alliance recently published part 1 of an examination of National Grid's Future Energy Scenarios, dealing with security of supply. We are now pleased to publish part 2 - cost of supply. The authors - Dr Capell Aris and Colin Gibson - conclude that building more gas and nuclear stations would be considerably less expensive than any of the NG scenarios, as well as offering better energy security.

What's New

14 October 2016: Read the new report by Dr Capell Aris, published jointly with the Adam Smith Institute - Solar power in Britain: the Impossible Dream