Bad connection as Herald misleads on Scotland’s power

Energy bills could rise as much as 50% in the spring as the UK faces a “national crisis” over soaring wholesale gas and electricity prices as renewable generation has slumped helped by the lowest Scottish wind speeds of this century.

The trade body Energy UK has called on the UK government to intervene to help cut the cost of bills amid predictions that the price cap could easily exceed £2,000 a year.

Just as BBC Scotland often obscured the truth with the word ‘after‘, as in ‘children die after contracting fungal infection linked to pigeon droppings‘, so the Herald uses ‘as‘ to imply that wind power is not the great solution, SNP supporters had hoped for.

They haven’t lied directly, do point out the soaring wholesale gas prices, but the implication is clear.

First, let’s deal with the wholesale gas prices which energy companies are already using to justify coming price hikes. None are linking the price increases to reduced wind power.

With 8% of the population, Scotland produces 28% of the UK’s gas consumption. The rest comes mainly from Norway and Russia. So, with full independence, a Scottish Government could easily control gas prices for consumers here.

After a fantastic year, in 2020, when Scotland generated 97% of its electricity from renewables, this has dipped, 18.7%, due to less wind, in 2021.

In 2021, however, electricity transfers from Scotland to England continued despite the ‘less favourable weather conditions’, at 2.0TWh.

1 GWh will provide for 725 000 homes so 1TWh will do 7 million and 2TWh will do 14 million. How many homes are there in Scotland with a population of only 5.44 million? So with full independence, even if less windy, those transfers would be exports, controllable by the Scottish Government or not exports if needed to heat Scottish homes.


14 thoughts on “Bad connection as Herald misleads on Scotland’s power

  1. There is a world increase in energy prices. Scotland gains from increased oil & gas prices. Covers any ‘loss’ on renewables. There is no loss on renewables. The cheaper and safest form of energy and power. Nuclear is the dearest and most dangerous. Hickley Point a waste of £Billions. Along with HS2. The Tory slush fund.

    Scotland pays too much for fuel and energy. Despite being in surplus and nearer the source. Scotland should pay 10% less for parity. Scotland denied CCS funding.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. When the Herald was totting up Scotland’s assets, it seemingly ran out of fingers, so just resorted to repeating Hi Jack and DRossies pish.

    Pair wee Scotia—all this water, land, oil, gas and electricity, and we rely on Engurland to take it off our poor, benighted hands.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. It’s a subliminal story about needing nuclear power, it’s now Labour policy I believe. Subtlety inserted in the column but spotted by the unionist BTL commentators.


  4. We need to have a diversity of energy supply sources and tidal needs to be a much greater part of that mix.
    Of course,there are going to be times when the wind doesn’t blow and we may well need to rely on other sources.
    England’s/UK solution is to invest in nuclear,mainly because of the desire not to blot their green and pleasant landscape ( Tory constituencies) with windmills.
    Scotland does not need this but it will continue to be punted by the unionist press as part of the one nation narrative where we must not be seen to having successful policies that differ from England.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Perhaps it would help matters if the UK had a greater storage capacity for gas/LNG so that they would not have to keep buying gas at the top of the market ie in winter when prices, and demand, are at their highest

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly. Storage would make a big difference. Germany has over 100 days storage capacity. Other EU nations have considerable capacity. The UK has about 10 days worth. (ED Milliband recently said that the UK had reduced it’s storage capacity). So as you say the UK is forced to buy gas mid winter at peak prices.

      It’s not just Scotland that has huge potential in Tidal generation.
      The concept of a tidal barage in the Bristol Channel is decades old.
      Previously estimated to be equivalent to 2 Nucelar power stations.

      Not developed as seen as a challenge to the Nuclear Industry. Tidal is capable of supplying base load.

      In summation British Government decisions force the country to buy energy at peak costs.
      Refuse to proceed with clean generation preferring a method that produces toxic waste and is inheritantly dangerous.

      What “They” are doing with the Energy Jackpot that is Scotland is another story.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. There is so much hogwash circulating over energy in public debate, the Herald is only adding to the deliberate confusion.
    Oddly enough the National has an article “Energy bills: UK told to ‘get a grip’ as prices set to rise by up to 50%” but I’m not about read the Herald piece to see if it’s another copy/paste job.
    However, note that we are being pushed to discuss recent pricing only, not what gives rise to that pricing.

    Expanding the number of wind and tidal generation installations could see Scotland double it’s power generation, any drop in actual generation due to “the wrong type of wind” would only reflect in reduced exports.
    The elephant in the room is the wholly artificial transmission charges favouring the south of England – Remove that obstacle and investors will be queued up at the door.

    The pricing strategy is entirely a London creation, much as the national insulation programme they are at pains to avoid like the plague.
    The Chancellor is guarding his revenue streams whilst avoiding the salient fact it is England which struggles with gas and electricity shortfalls.

    As expanded on above, Hinkley simply does not add up, but was a political choice not a financially sound one.

    Scotland’s problem is not wind but hot air, mainly coming from London.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. For information, interest and perspective:

    Offshore wind projects awaiting consent – Crown Estate Scotland is currently conducting ‘Scotwind’, the first offshore leasing round for offshore wind generation in Scottish waters for over a decade. The results should be announced early in 2022:
    – it is forecasting that as much as 10GW of new generating capacity over the next decade could result
    – it is anticipating that Scotwind projects will attract £8 billion in inward investment.

    Wind generation projects already consented – based on Scottish Government information:
    – 14.0 GW of renewable electricity projects on and offshore Scotland are already consented and in the pipeline for development.

    Progress in renewable electricity generation – based on SG information:
    – 2012 = 14,667 GWh
    – 2020 = 31,798 GWh.

    Electricity exports – based on SG information:
    – in 2020, there was a net export of 19.3 TWh of electricity from Scotland
    – this had an estimated wholesale market value at that time of £0.76 billion.

    SG information source—march-2021/energy-statistics-summary—march-2021/govscot%3Adocument/Scotland%2BEnergy%2BStatistics%2BQ4%2B2020.pdf

    Add in indigenous oil & gas resources plus hydro plus tidal potential plus CCS potential plus hydrogen potential and we have an energy rich – and therefore energy secure – country that now needs full (and therefore ‘integratable’) powers for our government and parliament in Holyrood over energy policy, taxation, monetary policy and public investment, procurement, labour market etc. And we need this ASAP.

    Liked by 3 people

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