Tuesday, November 01, 2011

SNP energy policy: £46bn?

Here is an analysis from Citigroup, a multinational financial services and investment organisation, of the risks associated with green investments in Scotland under an SNP Government.  Here is an extract:
  • Two main policies — the SNP has two flagship policies; first to hold a referendum on Scotland seceding from the UK; and second for Scotland to aggressively develop
    renewable energy to drive an industrial renaissance and deliver 130,000 jobs.
  •  Policy 1 - Referendum — the Scottish Government plans to hold a referendum in 2013 or 2014. If a yes vote is the outcome then this would mandate the Scottish Government to negotiate terms for Scotland to secede from the UK. Secession could
    take place as early as 2016/17, although the timetable is naturally unclear given the lack of precedents.
  • Policy 2 - Renewable energy — the Scottish Government is targeting a massive increase in renewable power generation from the current 10TWh to around 50TWh by
    2020. To achieve this, generation capacity in Scotland needs to double from 13GW to
    circa 26GW with the increase being achieved through building on-shore and off-shore
    wind. This would cost approx. £46bn.
 And the analyst's conclusion?
  • Conclusion - in our view utilities and other investors should exercise extreme caution in committing further capital to Scotland. This particularly applies to SSE and ScottishPower (Iberdrola) who may already be over exposed to these risks.
And my point?  The political drive for groundbreaking energy policies is already founded on an interpretation of climate science which is proving to be a pack of cards.  But even if the science underpinning energy policy turns out to be correct the economics is also looking like a pack of cards.  That can be called a lose, lose situation - which is the current Scottish Goverment's energy and climate policy appears to be.

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