Holyrood accused of double standards

Ewing says Scottish government may build coal-fired power station

Fergus EwingScottish energy minister Fergus Ewing has suggested the Holyrood government may build a coal-fired or gas power station to replace ageing plant and ensure the lights do not go out.

Critics may regard the move as a contradiction of its 100% renewables policy, but Mr Ewing said this morning that the Scottish government “recognises that the transition to renewables has to be managed”.

He said that would mean a mixture of sources of energy, though critics will also say that this indicates a willingness to accept that the country cannot rely solely on green power to provide all the fuel it needs.

Mr Ewing’ comments in an interview came amid growing speculation that the Longannet coal-fired power station in Fife may have to close earlier than scheduled, raising questions about Scotland’s supplies of energy.

Asked if the government’s concern for the station contradicted its renewables strategy, Mr Ewing said: “We believe there should be one station, coal or gas.”

He said such a station could be fitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities to reduce emissions and rejected suggestions that this was “decades away”.

Mr Ewing’s comments follow a decision by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to write to Prime Minister David Cameron for assurances that the current high cost of transmitting electricity from Scotland into the grid will not compromise Scotland’s supplies.

>> Letter to Cameron

One Comment to Ewing says Scottish government may build coal-fired power station

  1. What utter nonsense. All Scottish Government projections and policies to date have all coal-fired electricity generation ceasing in 2020, with the only CCS generation in the subsequent years being gas-fired. Only two possibilities for coal-fired CCS in Scotland have ever existed – conversion of Longannet, which was rejected in 2011 because it would have cost £1.5 billion of taxpayers money, and the Captain Clean Energy project, which has gone very very quiet since failing to win any of its bids for EU or UK CCS funding.
    And does he really mean “the Scottish Government may build” a power station? This is fantasy land. It would probably be illegal under EU state funding rules and in any case the money simply isn’t there.
    Also, it’s entirely wrong to say it “could be fitted” with CCS. Under UK and Scottish Government policy and legislation it would HAVE to be fitted with CCS. But the commercial feasibility of CCS won’t even be known until the White Rose project has been up and running for several years.

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