Scotland generated most of its electricity from nuclear and fossil fuels in 2015
By Paul Homewood
Readers will recall yesterday’s post, Scotland generated more than half of its electricity in 2015 from renewables.
I was kicking myself afterwards, as I should have more accurately titled it “Scotland generated most of its electricity from nuclear and fossil fuels in 2015”!
I have a few more thoughts on the matter:
The article in Science Alert (no, I have not either) comments:
“This is great news and an important step in creating a fossil-free Scotland. Despite the UK government’s ideological assault on renewable energy, Scotland is storming ahead, smashing through our 50 percent target for 2015," said director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, Richard Dixon. "Clean, green energy is essential in the fight against climate change and Scotland needs to continue to be a champion of renewables while David Cameron continues to chase the nuclear dream in England."
Ouch! All we can say is brilliant work so far, Scotland, and it’s an awesome milestone to celebrate.
Unfortunately the figures tell us a rather different story. We only have data so far for 2014, but the figures will tell a similar story for last year, when nuclear generation in the UK increased.
|TWh Total Generation||260.9||49.9|
As they say – OUCH!!
Again, DECC have not yet published national statistics for last year, but in 2014 the Longanett coal power plant generated 10.2 TWh in 2014, which amounted to 32% of Scottish consumption.
The plant has just closed for good, so this year Scotland will be heavily reliant on the two nuclear sites at Hunterston and Torness, plus the CCGT at Peterhead and hydro, when the wind decides not to blow.
Together these contributed about 23 TWh in 2014, against consumption of 32.4 TWh.
Last year, Scotland exported 14.8 TWh to England, and imported just 0.2 TWh. This year is likely to see the latter figure increase substantially.
Last year, wind and solar generated 14.3 TWh in Scotland, 30% of the UK total.
We know from the OBR projections that the cost of FIT’s and ROC’s amounted to £5.3bn in 2015/16. We can therefore assume that 30% of this cost relates to Scotland’s share. (This is likely to be an underestimate, as the proportion of more expensive offshore wind is greater there.)
We thus get a cost of £1.86bn. On a consumption of 38.1 TWh, this amounts to a subsidy of £49/MWh, more than doubling the wholesale price.