Here’s what we know about the events beginning on Friday afternoon at around 4:52pm.
Experts have played down the chances the lights could go out this winter, as a series of coal fired power plants close.
The last lump of coal is to be burned at Longannet, bringing an end to more than a century of coal-fired power in Scotland.
The Scottish Government should consider introducing tolls to help tackle a £2 billion road maintenance backlog, according to a new report. The Institution of Civil Engineers Scotland said about a third of local roads are in an unacceptable condition in its latest review of the country’s infrastructure. The declining state of local roads risks undermining improvements made by major investment in projects such as the Queensferry Crossing and Borders Railway, the report said. The institution, which has 8,000 members in Scotland, said estimates put the cost of simply preventing further deterioration at £245.5 million a year.
A taskforce set up after it was revealed the coal-fired Longannet power station was set to close has met for a second time in a bid to help those who face job losses. It is expected Scottish Power will know by the end of October how many Longannet employees wish to take redundancy, seek redployment within the company or find new employment. The Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said detailed work had been taking place by Scottish Power, local councils and the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise to help with an economic recovery plan.
Imagine an uninformed stranger arriving in Scotland and examining what passes for an energy policy. What conclusions would be reached about the self-contradictory, self-defeating chaos that has been achieved so far? On the one hand, we have a Scottish government which has made massive virtue out of a low-carbon energy policy, targeting a generation equivalent to 100% renewables. On the other, we have one of Europe’s most polluting power stations scheduled for near-imminent closure. Our passing stranger might reach one of two conclusions, or possibly both. First, the closure of Longannet is entirely consistent with the stated objectives of the current Holyrood administration.
A Holyrood committee is to hold an inquiry into the security of Scotland’s energy supply in the wake of news that Longannet power station is likely to close prematurely. MSPs on the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee will take evidence on the UK electricity market with a focus on supply, demand and the transmission network. It follows the announcement that the troubled coal-fired plant in Fife will “in all likelihood” shut by March 2016 after losing out on a short-term National Grid contract. Operator Scottish Power said the station has been under pressure from higher transmission charges to connect to the grid due to its location.
The premature closure of Longannet power station at a time of falling spare capacity in the system is a “national scandal”, the energy minister has said. Fergus Ewing told MSPs the Scottish Government would “strain every sinew” to help employees at the struggling Fife station if the closure cannot be averted. Operator Scottish Power has said that it will “in all likelihood” shut by March 2016 after losing out on a short-term National Grid contract to Peterhead. In a statement at Holyrood, Mr Ewing defended the Government’s renewables policy against claims it was harming power stations such as Longannet. He said: “Some members opposite believe the development of renewables has harmed the prospects of thermo stations. Those arguments are false.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney has called for reform of the UK’s “fundamentally flawed” transmission charging regime after it was announced that Longannet power station is likely to close early next year. Operator Scottish Power said yesterday that the coal-fired plant in Fife will “in all likelihood” close by March 2016 after losing out on a short-term National Grid contract. Neil Clitheroe, chief executive of Scottish Power retail and generation, said the current transmission charging regime was a “major barrier” to any future investment in thermal power generation in Scotland.
Scottish Power will likely close its coal-fired power station at Longannet in Fife next year. The announcement comes after the energy firm lost out on a contract from National Grid. A Peterhead gas-fired power station owned and operated by SSE was selected to provide voltage support services to National Grid between April 2016 and September 2017. About 270 people are currently employed at Longannet.
The Scottish Government will do everything in its power to prevent the premature closure of Longannet, the Deputy First Minister has pledged. John Swinney was speaking in advance of a visit to the troubled Fife power station, which will close by the end of March next year unless it secures a short-term National Grid contract. A decision on the contract, which is to help maintain voltage levels in the electricity supply from April 2016 to October 2017, is expected by the end of the month. The Scottish Power-operated coal-fired station is under pressure from new European Union environmental legislation and carbon taxation combined with higher transmission charges to connect to the grid due to its location in Scotland.