National Grid ‘blackout’ warning highlights GB need for Scottish energy


Responding to National Grid’s warning of a higher risk of winter blackouts Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said that the warning highlights the continuing need for Scottish electricity to ‘keep the lights on’ across the whole GB market.

National Grid’s followed Ofgem’s Capacity Assessment Report in June which showed ‘tightening electricity margins’, increased probability of supply disruption, and stated that there is an “unprecedented challenge to secure supplies to consumers”.

In a prediction now echoed by National Grid’s warning, Ofgem estimated that the GB capacity margin – the gap between available capacity and peak demand – could fall to as low as 2 per cent by 2015-2016.

Commenting Mr Ewing said:

“This warning from National Grid is the latest report warning of the risk of electricity blackouts and thereby highlighting the importance of Scotland’s electricity generation and electricity exports to the whole of the GB market.

“With GB margins tightening and Scottish electricity exports at 26 per cent of Scottish generation, it is clear that Scotland plays an important role in “keeping the lights on” across these islands. Without the excess Scottish generating capacity the GB capacity margin would fall even further or could disappear completely – highlighting the continuing necessity of the all-GB energy market to consumers south of the border.

“It also demonstrates that claims from Ed Davey about not wanting Scottish renewables post-independence are nothing more that scaremongering, and that the real issue here has been mismanagement of UK energy policy.

“The Scottish Government is committed to the successful and sustainable development of our energy sector, and we are also committed to working to deliver Scottish and GB security of energy supplies. These are areas where Scotland already plays a key role and where an independent Scotland will continue to play a key role.”