A leading economist has warned taxpayers could be “exceptionally badly harmed” under Nicola Sturgeon’s proposals to introduce a state-run energy company. Under plans announced by the First Minister on Tuesday, renewably-sourced power from the privately-owned enterprise would be sold on to customers as cheaply as possible. But Dr Ariel Bergmann, an energy economist at Dundee University, warned the scheme meant taxpayers could be at risk from volatile market prices. He said: “The big challenge is the financial risk. Both electricity and natural gas can be quite volatile in daily prices, even within the day prices. Dr Bergmann said the company could be successful if it secures talent to strike the best deals and grows at the right pace. However, David Pike, who set up consumer-run People’s Energy in East Lothian earlier this year said similar companies already exist in the private sector “without the need for government intervention”. He said: “I’m confused about why it’s needed when we’re already doing it and going further. “We’re doing green energy, we’re giving the profit straight back to our customers – and we’re doing it now, not in 2021. “I’ve written to the First Minister to ask her motivation for doing this. We’re a Scottish company and everything she spoke about we can do now without them wasting money.”
Energy Voice 13th Oct 2017 read more »
Nicola Sturgeon’s new energy company would drain money away from public services and might not be able to offer cheaper deals, according to experts. People’s Energy, a start-up that is owned by its customers, said yesterday that the money the SNP was planning to spend on a publicly owned energy supplier would be better spent on hospitals and teachers. SSE, one of the Big Six suppliers, has warned that such a company could lead to disruption in the market and questioned whether it would be able to offer less expensive tariffs. Ms Sturgeon announced that the government would look to form a not-for-profit energy company by 2021 at the SNP conference in Glasgow. The proposed company would try to supply renewable energy as close to cost price as possible. While SSE declined to comment directly, it has made su bmissions to the Scottish government’s energy strategy that make clear its displeasure.
Times 13th Oct 2017 read more »