Letter: FURTHER to the recently published WWF assertion within its The Energy of Scotland Report that as renewables grow in the future “there is little or no need for conventional generating capacity in Scotland”, the National Grid System Data site has recorded that Scotland was a huge importer of electricity each day for almost the entire last week of November. This was principally due to the calm weather related loss of wind generation which also coincided with the unpredictable close-down of Torness conventional 600MW Unit 1 due to seaweed reducing the cooling water intake capability whilst its second unit was on planned reduced output for refuelling. Hunterston was outputting 1000MW of conventional generation throughout. My randomly timed random checks show that Scotland from a week past Wednesday (November 23) was daily importing 1423MW, 1725MW, 1417MW 962MW,742MW, 524MW fr om England peaking, apparently, at 2550MW on November 23. Torness was fully back on line from November 26 still leaving Scotland importing hugely. The existing transmission line interlinks with England are unable to cope with importing more than 2650MW which is the largely undeclared but prevailing reason for construction of the new £1bn HVDC Western Link from the Clyde to North Wales. It will be essential to cope with Scotland’s future inability to power itself. The power companies’ project website, however, cosily and predominately promotes this link as being necessary to cope with the future high levels of renewables exports. Scotland presently has more than 6000MW of installed wind turbine capacity with around 8000MW approved and in the pipeline. During high pressure, low wind conditions, irrespective of the levels of wind based renewables we have, Scotland will remain incapable, over extended periods, of producing enough dispatchable electricity to meet its d emand more so because Torness and Hunterston will be gone. Industry requires energy.
Herald 5th Dec 2016 read more »