UK needs Scottish renewable energy says Minister
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing today welcomed a DECC analysis showing that household bills will be lower with green policies and renewable energy than if the UK continues with the status quo.
Basing his comments on a 2011 DECC estimate that consumer bills by 2020 will be £94 lower with low carbon policies than without them, Mr Ewing pointed out that Centrica, who own Scottish Gas, recently warned that energy prices are 'likely to rise by as much as £50 a household as wholesale gas prices have risen again'.
"Renewable energy is vital to Scotland and to the rest of the UK," he said. "It is essential if we are to keep bills down for ordinary families, boost the economy and meet our climate change targets.
"Figures show bills for gas and electricity rose by £445 between 2004 and 2010, and that two-thirds of this rise was the result of increases in wholesale costs; precisely why we need to invest in our own secure energy supply.
"Renewable incentives add only £15-20 to annual household utility bills in Scotland; a valuable investment in keeping future bills down."
The punch-line to Mr Ewing's statement however has a distinctly pro-independence flavour, no doubt mindful of the rough ride recently given by the Energy and Climate Change Committee to the future role of Scottish energy exports to the rest of Britain, under a separate Scotland.
"The UK needs Scotland's renewable energy whatever the constitutional future holds," he said. "We should take advantage of Scotland's competitive edge in the renewable energy revolution."
Scotland exported 20.8% of electricity generated in 2010 to England and Northern Ireland while Scottish Power and the National Grid recently announced they have awarded a £1 billion contract to upgrade the grid link between Scotland and England, as part of a wider package of upgrades which will increase capacity from Scotland to England from 3.3GW to close to 7GW by 2021.