Category Archives: Constitutional change

The case for devolving energy policy to Scotland

Devolving energy policy would tidy up the often conflicting mix of devolved and reserved powers and enable Scotland to develop new approaches to energy policy. At present energy is a largely reserved matter to Westminster. Specific reservations in Schedule 5 of the Scotland Act 1998 include the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity; the …

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Utilities and the Referendum

What is probably the longest campaign in political history comes to a conclusion today. We haven’t declared for either side, primarily because we split fairly evenly on the issue and our Editor isn’t saying. That doesn’t mean we haven’t got a view on the issues. Oil, or rather the amount and value of it has …

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More on Energy Commission report

Former energy minister Brian Wilson gives a typically blunt assessment of the Energy Commission’s report, in today’s Scotsman. He says, “For the past half century, Scotland has been an exporter of electricity to the rest of the UK, due mainly to our nuclear stations. Last year, we exported more than a quarter of what was …

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Energy Commission’s case for a single market

The Scottish Government’s Energy Commission has published its report on how the energy market and regulation could operate if Scotland votes for independence in September. They confirm that a National Regulatory Authority will be required under EU law and the regulator’s duties should be clear and settled for a fixed period to give regulatory certainty. …

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Scottish and UK governments go head to head on energy

Energy policy has been the focus of the independence debate this week with the publication of Scottish and UK government papers.  First out was the Scottish Government with its paper ‘UK energy policy and Scotland’s contribution to security of supply’. It argues that the UK is facing the highest black-out risk in a generation, with …

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The power of Scotland?

In a typically robust contribution, former energy minister Brian Wilson, tears into the Scottish Government’s energy policy in yesterday’s Scotland on Sunday. His thesis goes: “We are heading for what was predictable and predicted: the historic contribution of a Nationalist government to Scotland’s energy history will be to transform us from a substantial exporter of …

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Is state aid another challenge for Scottish renewables post independence?

Draft guidelines on state aid add a new twist on the cost of renewables if Scotland votes for independence. The Scottish Government’s ambitious targets for renewable energy come at a price to consumers, of about 11%, or £57 to the average Scottish household bill of £520 last year. At present that price is spread across …

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Claim and counter claim over energy post independence

Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint came to Scotland last week and had a run in with Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing over the SNP’s energy plans. Flint argued that English and Welsh households wouldn’t want to continue subsidising renewable energy investment in Scotland post independence. Scottish consumers contributed less than a tenth of the cost …

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Scottish Energy Commission

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has announced the establishment of an Expert Commission on Energy Regulation in an independent Scotland. Chaired by Robert Armour OBE. The Commission will produce a full report by the end of this year and will provide interim findings to inform the Scottish Government’s White Paper on independence in Autumn 2013. …

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Gordon Hughes on energy and Independence

Gordon Hughes from the School of Economics, University of Edinburgh, is to make a presentation on ‘The energy sector in Scotland’s future’ at the International Conference on Economics of Constitutional Change in Edinburgh. These are some of the points he will make: 1. As a separate country, Scotland will be a classic small, open, resource-dependent …

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