Westminster must act on stark warning from SSE

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The revelation that Scottish and Southern Electricity is set to downgrade its generating capacity is the starkest possible warning of the damage that Westminster’s energy policy is doing to the sector, the SNP has said.

SSE have made clear that the market conditions and ongoing uncertainty over what price it can expect for its power once Electricity Market Reforms are complete have forced it to downgrade coal, gas and biomass generation across the UK.

In Scotland, SSE operates Peterhead gas-fired power station and intends to reduce capacity there from 1,180MW to 400MW, citing unreasonably high transmission charges as a key factor in the decision.  The company has made clear that this reduction in capacity will not affect job numbers or impact upon the proposed CCS project at the site.

Commenting, SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson whose constituency covers Peterhead said:

“Today’s action by SSE must finally drive it home to Westminster just how much damage the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Electricity Market Reform is doing.

“Companies cannot plan effectively while they are left in the dark about how much they will be paid for the electricity they produce.

“They are being left with no choice but to cut their risks while Westminster continues to dither. There is no reason for this uncertainty to continue and Westminster must end its unacceptable delays so that the energy sector can plan for the future with confidence.

“This latest failure from Westminster to get it right when it comes to energy is only the latest step in a sorry track record that spans across Westminster Governments.

“If the worrying scenario that SSE is warning of is to be avoided, we must see action from Westminster as a matter of urgency.”