Salmond slams Electricity Market Reform

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said that today’s Electricity Market Reform proposals published in Westminster could jeopardise Scotland’s ability to fulfil its green energy potential and risk low carbon investment. […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said that today’s Electricity Market Reform proposals published in Westminster could jeopardise Scotland’s ability to fulfil its green energy potential and risk low carbon investment.

And he accused energy ministers of a “complete u-turn in its proposals to subsidise the bottomless pit that is new nuclear power”.

Mr Salmond has today written an open letter to energy companies and industry representatives seeking their views on the proposed reforms.

He said: “The proposed changes have implications for our powers to support renewables, provide financial support for carbon capture and storage and control emissions. We have used the levers available to us to create a strong and innovative framework with the best levels of support in the UK for wind, wave and tidal energy development.

“Against that successful track record, change could unnecessarily risk investor confidence and could have significant ramifications for our energy industry. Scotland’s powers to target support to our unique opportunities has been key and must be maintained or enhanced.

He added: “The UK government’s complete u-turn in its proposals to subsidise the bottomless pit that is new nuclear power is deeply unwelcome. Not only are we still paying billions to decommission power stations switched off years ago, we could now face upfront costs to build new stations.

Mr Salmond said the UK was now “at a crossroads on energy”.

“There are questions over how these new reforms could work, their effect on Scotland and on existing and future investment plans. But we will work with UK government to ensure Scottish ministers’ powers are respected and be fully involved in agreeing and delivering any new mechanisms.”