Nicola Sturgeon hopes for another Scottish independence referendum
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Earlier this month, the Prime Minister unveiled his Energy Security Strategy that details the country’s plans for the next decade. In the outlined strategy, the UK relies heavily on Scotland for achieving its renewables goals as well as promising to increase North Sea oil and gas production. But as bills soar for millions across the UK, Mr Brown, the SNP’s spokesman on Energy and Climate Change, has warned that many Scots are now wondering what they are getting in return.
The MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun said: “I know constituents who have contacted me, who are really frustrated seeing energy bills go up.
“They see us produce oil and gas and renewable energy that’s supposed to help us, so why are we paying more money?
“There’s a real frustration at that.”
Scotland is rich in wind power, with it being able to generate 97.4 percent of its total energy needs from renewable sources.
In 2019 it was reported that Scotland was producing enough wind energy to power the country twice over.
Meanwhile, 48 percent of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources in 2020.
Mr Brown said that people in Scotland were becoming increasingly aware of how the current charging structure for transmission grids also affects them.
According to reports, by 2026, energy generators in Scotland will be required to pay £465million in transmission charges while those in England and Wales will get a £30million subsidy,
Mr Brown continued: “Scotland pays the highest charges in the whole of Europe, so an offshore wind farm connecting to the transmission grid in Scotland pays money to connect to the grid, whereas an offshore wind off the southwest coast of England gets paid money to connect to the grid.
“There’s a real imbalance there and I know people are getting frustrated with that.
“In the long run, I think that’s going to affect how people think.
“It does make people understand Scotland making decisions for itself can drive its own energy policy, can deploy its own renewable energy.
“The energy crisis has been focusing people’s minds more on that, it’s something the Government should take cognisance of.”
Mr Brown was also frustrated by the Government’s “£1billion commitment to four carbon capture and storage clusters by 2030”.
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The Government has currently selected two sites in the North East and North West, with the Scottish project, that Mr Brown claims is “the most developed, and makes the most financial sense” is kept in a reserve status.
He added: “ It’s another example of the UK Government overlooking Scotland and people are starting to see that.”
It comes after Ms Sturgeon announced an agreement operation agreement between the SNP and the Scottish Greens, creating a majority in the Scottish Parliament.
The move already gave the SNP another shot at independence, but now Mr Johnson may have pulled the goalkeeper.
But Chris Stark, the Chief Executive of the UK’s Climate Change Committee, previous told Express.co.uk that there are still major barriers to overcome.
He said: “How the energy market will operate is an unanswered question, but things have changed since 2014.
“Offshore and onshore wind looks less like something you need to subsidise and more like a cheap energy source.
“That’s a big difference if we do have a second referendum.
“At the moment there is a completely interrelated grid, so it’s a difficult question – it depends on the timing.
“But there will become a point where Scotland’s extensive renewable resources are enough to support a domestic energy system alone.”
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