If Scotland was to separate from the central government in London, it could be left with the highest household bills in the world, an expert has warned.
In an interview with Scotland on Sunday, Sir Donald Miller, former chairman of the South of Scotland Electricity Board and ScottishPower, warned that the SNP’s current energy policy, which relies on producing 100% of the nation’s energy using renewables, could be “disastrous”.
While first minister Alex Salmond has previously said an independent Scotland could be the “Saudi Arabia of renewables”, Sir Donald warned that importing power from England would be extremely pricey.
An independent Scotland ‘could compare to Denmark’
He compared Scotland to Denmark, which uses wind energy for many of its needs. When the wind is subdued the Scandinavian nation is forced to import energy from Norway, pushing up household bills to around 70% more than in the UK.
However, Denmark currently produces just 30% of its energy from wind, while Scotland’s goal is 100%. Sir Donald commented: “Independence with present energy policies would be disastrous for Scotland. It would be even worse than the Denmark situation.”
Nuclear power ‘could help’
He pointed to the nation’s nuclear power stations, which will remain in operation until 2023, as a potential solution. However, in a bid to make Scotland “nuclear free”, the SNP has blocked the building of any more of these plants.
He said: “So long as the nuclear stations at Hunterston and Torness are operational Scotland might just about muddle through, but without them would be reliant on energy coming from England.
“It would be importing energy back when the wind is not blowing strongly enough, and that would be for most of the time.”
While some have suggested marine power could be a reliable source of energy, Sir Donald labelled this “a waste of consumers’ money”. He warned that costs would be “entirely unacceptable”.