Scotland will help power England, says Fergus Ewing

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing told the people of England not to worry as Scotland would help keep the lights on. Speaking at the opening of the All Energy conference […]

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By Sumit Bose

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing told the people of England not to worry as Scotland would help keep the lights on.

Speaking at the opening of the All Energy conference in Aberdeen this morning, the MSP told the audience the renewables revolution in Scotland and the building of new transmission grids would mean Scots will be able to send power to help out their English neighbours to keep the lights on.

He said: “By building our transmission network we will be able to quadruple our electricity exports to England. That is because England will need the quadrupling of the electricity it receives from Scotland and they will need that, as we know from Alistair Buchanan, the outgoing chief executive of Ofgem, who has warned that unless a number of things are done that there is a real risk that there maybe shortages and even cuts by 2014.”

Mr Ewing joked: “Although my government (SNP) has suspicions the English government maybe in the dark, we don’t want the actual English people to spend their time in the dark.”

The Scottish Energy Minister made a wide ranging speech where he outlined how the Scottish renewable energy story had grown to become a real success over the past decade.

“Last year 40% of all Scotland’s electricity came from renewable sources. We generated 14,600 GWh enough to power ever household in Scotland….There has been a £1bn of investment across the whole sphere of  Scottish renewable energy development. That is a success story is it not?

“Now we support in the renewables sector in Scotland 11,000 jobs. So 11,000 families depend upon their livelihood on the work that this sector does. Now that’s more than direct employment in the whisky sector.”

Mr Ewing said he hoped the EMR would finally be sorted and that “we are near the start of the beginning” of a new low carbon future.