The security of Scotland’s energy supply will be the subject of an inquiry by the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee.
The parliamentary inquiry will consider Scotland’s energy needs in a changing UK electricity market and will look at supply, demand, the transmission network and market functioning.
MSPs on the Committee have today issued a call for evidence to gather views on the issue and will begin to take evidence in May.
Convener of the Committee Murdo Fraser MSP said:
“The security of Scotland’s energy supply has been brought into urgent focus due to the recent developments at Longannet.
“It is imperative that this inquiry starts a debate in Scotland about how we can secure Scotland’s energy supply and looks at the implications of the likely early closure of Longannet.
“There are a number of wider issues at play here from the move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy, significant reform to the UK electricity market as well as the capability of the UK transmission network to meet demand.
“It is the role of this committee to establish the facts, question the experts, and scrutinise the actions of the UK and Scottish Governments, who all have a responsibility to secure Scotland’s supply.”
The Committee’s inquiry will look to answer the following questions and has asked for view on the following:
- On supply, if there is sufficient generation to meet demand, in particular to the end of the decade. What role will new generation that is under construction play? The Scottish Government aims to have a largely decarbonised electricity system by 2030. Are there sufficient tools in place to bridge the move from fossil fuels to renewables?
- How predictable peak demand is at present and how likely this is to change in the coming decade? What impact will the development of demand side response have?
- A number of new transmission network projects are currently planned. What role will these have in securing electricity supplies and where should future investment be directed? What role might the distribution network and a single European electricity market play in securing supplies?
- A number of significant changes to the electricity market have recently been finalised and are being put in place to ensure competition and cost reflective prices for the consumer. Are policies such as the Capacity Mechanism under Electricity Market Reform adequate and what other long term signals might be necessary to ensure security of supply?
The Committee’s call for views will be open until 6 May.