THE National Grid’s Winter Review and Consultation report found that the margin of spare generating capacity could be as low as 1.2% for this coming winter, compared to a margin of 4.1% last winter.
The report presents a review of the security of supply in gas and electricity for the last winter (2014/15) and launches an industry consultation on National Grid’s forecasts for the coming winter (2015/16), which will conclude in August.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing says the situation shows complacency by the UK Government and added that next year the margins could be under even greater pressure if Longannet power station in Fife is forced to close prematurely.
The current transmission charging regime for Great Britain was introduced by the UK Government in 2005.
According o Mr Ewing, the UK Government’s policy continues to impact negatively on the existing thermal generating capability in Scotland, and in particular on the potential for new power stations to be built.
Mr Ewing said: “These figures show that the national grid is becoming even harder pressed to keep the lights on this winter.
“Thermal energy is a source of generation which has a significant impact on grid capacity margins and can enhance energy security.
“At a time when the UK Government is presiding over a period of extremely narrow generation capacity margins, it has chosen not to intervene regarding the unfair transmission charges which are threatening the future of thermal generation in Scotland.”