The Scottish Government’s energy policy statement, published today (Monday 5 March 2012), confirms that plans for 100% renewables by 2020 are achievable and raises further questions for Peel Energy’s plans for a new coal power station at Hunterston in Ayrshire.

The policy statement confirms that only 2.5GW of thermal generation is required by 2020. Scotland currently generates close to 5GW at Longannet (2.4GW), Peterhead (1.5GW) and Cockenzie (1GW) alone.

Francis Stuart, Policy Officer for Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “These plans are another blow to Peel Energy’s proposals for a hugely polluting coal power station in Ayrshire. On top of 22,000 objections and formal opposition from the local council, the Scottish Government has now made it clear that there isn’t any need for this power station in any case. The developer should take this opportunity to walk away, stop wasting everyone’s time and withdraw their application.”

While the government’s statement makes clear that the proposed Hunterston coal plant isn’t needed, the draft electricity generation statement also makes a number of other conclusions in other areas: – the government’s target for 100% of electricity demand to be met by renewables is perfectly achievable. – while it confirms that no new nuclear power stations are needed, it states that subject to relevant safety cases being made, the government will not oppose lifetime extensions to Hunterston or Torness. – it plans to consult on an emissions performance standard – the level of emissions power stations are allowed to emit – for Scotland. These could result in an emissions performance standard at a different level to that proposed by the UK Government.

Francis Stuart, Policy Officer for Friends of the Earth Scotland, continued: “The Scottish Government has made much of its anti-nuclear policy and while this document rules out new nuclear plants, it also makes clear the government won’t oppose lifetime extensions to nuclear plants. We shouldn’t be relying on ageing nuclear plants to generate our electricity.”

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

1. Scottish electricity generation – press release
www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2012/03/Electricity-05032012

2. Draft Electricity Generation Policy Statement for consultation
scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Business-Industry/Energy/EGPS2012/DraftEPGS2012

3. Friends of the Earth Scotland is * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent. www.foe-scotland.org.uk