Renewables offer lower bills than gas and nuclear says new report


  By Bob Duncan

Scottish renewables will lead to cheaper bills than the UK’s proposed “Dash for Gas” and new nuclear and will also make an independent Scotland the most reliable source of energy for the rUK, according to a new report.

The report from the Committee on Climate Change, advisers to the UK Dept of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), concludes that household energy bills will be about £600 higher per year by the end of the decade if the UK relies increasingly on gas, whilst they would only be around £100 higher than today’s average if the UK concentrated on renewable power generation.

Mike Weir MP, SNP spokesperson on Energy, said the report demonstrates that renewable energy is the best way to ensure that consumers get the lowest prices for energy in the future.

Mr Weir noted that the report confirms that the approach of the Scottish Government is clearly the best way forward, and also demonstrates Scotland’s potential to provide clean, green energy to neighbouring countries.

December saw the publication of a separate report by the DECC showing that Scotland had smashed through its renewable electricity target for 2011, generating 36.1% of Scotland’s electricity demand from renewable sources.

Meanwhile, figures for the first three quarters of 2012 also show that green electricity production has increased by 15.2% compared to the same period in 2011, indicating that further progress is likely to be made when statistics for the full year become available.

These figures show important progress towards the Scottish Government’s 2020 target of the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity needs met from renewable energy, as well as more from other sources.  Scotland has set the world’s most ambitious target for carbon reduction in energy generation, and is on track to be successfully achieved.

The statistics confirm that Scotland has comfortably exceeded its interim target of generating the equivalent of 31 per cent of electricity demand from renewables by 2011.

Commenting on the report, Mr Weir said:

“Whilst any rise in prices is unwelcome this report clearly shows that the most sensible and realistic way forward is to invest in clean, green renewable energy. Not only will it reduce carbon emissions but it will also ensure that hard-pressed consumers get the best possible deal.”

“The Scottish Government is already committed to producing 100% of our electricity needs from renewables by 2030, and this report demonstrates that this is a much more sensible approach than the UK government’s “Dash for Gas” which will end up costing the consumer six times as much.”

“Scotland has surpassed our interim target and are well on the way to meeting our 2030 target. The growth of renewables in Scotland will mean that not only will we be able to supply our own energy needs but will have energy to sell to others.”

“The report blows out of the water the ridiculous claims of the No campaign that energy bills will be more expensive in an independent Scotland. A Scotland with clean green energy will have lower bills than the rest of the UK, who seem determined to go down the route of more gas stations and expensive nuclear power.”

Referring to stories from last year suggesting that The remainder of the UK would refuse to buy energy from an independent Scotland, Mr Weir continued:

“Not only will gas be much more expensive, as indicated in the report, but it will be a far less reliable source of energy.  The rest of the UK would ultimately have to rely on imported gas presently coming from Russia and Qatar, which in the latter case comes through the Straits of Hormuz a potentially very unstable route given the current tensions with Iran.”

“An over-reliance on gas would also mean the rest of the UK could not meet their EU climate change commitments.”

“An independent Scotland will be a reliable supplier of green energy that will be a huge boost to Scotland – but also the best and most reliable source for the rest of the UK to access green power and ensure that they meet their international commitments.”

“The notion that the rest of the UK will be so upset by Scottish independence that they will turn to potentially unstable sources of energy flies in the face of all reason. All nations will act in their own best interests and that means trading with Scotland in energy.”