Question mark over Longannet's future makes the case for renewables, says WWF Scotland
A leading environmental organisation says question marks over the future of Longannet makes the case for renewable energy more crucial than ever.
The Fife power plant’s future is in doubt after owner Scottish Power said it was costing far too much to connect to the National Grid.
Longannet’s location means it can’t compete with the English power generating companies - losing an estimated £40 million a year.
Scottish Power has decided not to enter the contest to supply energy generating capacity in 2018/19 saying financial changes are needed to avert the threat of closure.
The Scottish Government says that Scottish generators accounted for about 12% of the capacity connected to Britain's high-voltage electricity network but paid about 35% of the charges – a situation that is becoming unfeasible in financial terms.
WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “While this is an important decision by the company, it should not come as a surprise.
“Even the Scottish Government have long assumed Longannet would close at the end of this decade.
Renewables is where Scotland’s energy future lies - Lang Banks
“We now need ministers to work closely with ScottishPower and others to secure a transition to a power sector that isn’t dominated by large fossil fuel power plants.
“Longannet is currently responsible for almost one fifth of all Scotland’s climate emissions, so is never going to be part of a low carbon future.
“With our massive renewables resource, Scotland is ideally placed to continue to create many long-term jobs from clean energy.
“Renewables is where Scotland’s energy future lies.”
Scottish Power said it would "fully explore" all options to keep Longannet operational for as long as possible and will hold talks with the National Grid, Scottish government and Department for Energy and Climate Change.