Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has dismissed UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey’s warning that independence would result in higher gas and electricity bills for Scotland.
According to Ewing, it is England which needs Scotland to keep energy affordable. He pointed out that whereas Scotland operates a 20% spare electricity margin, this spare capacity drops to between 2% and 5% in the UK.
Back in January, British Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs that the country was not in any immediate danger of blackouts and energy shortages.
‘England will require […] imports of Scotland’s electricity’
Speaking to The Guardian, Ewing said: “The reality is that the supplies of electricity in the UK, especially down south, are parlously tight. There have been successive warnings by Ofgem, the regulator, and it is difficult to see the response to those warnings as anything other than a serial failure to come up with any coherent strategic response.”
“On a security of supply basis, England will require to receive imports of Scotland’s electricity for most of the time.”
One tenth of all homes, but one fourth of the renewable budget
Davey had previously said that an independent Scotland would face higher bills as its energy generation costs were currently subsidised by the rest of the UK.
The energy secretary added that Scots currently receive one fourth of the UK’s renewable budget and that this money would have to come from increased Scottish investment should the nation become independent.