Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Cost of living crisis: SNP failed to model how shutting nuclear power stations would hit bills

The SNP failed to model how shutting power stations would impact energy costs.
The SNP failed to model how shutting power stations would impact energy costs.

SNP ministers failed to model how shutting Scotland’s nuclear power stations would hit energy prices.

Net Zero and Energy Secretary Michael Matheson admitted the government did not “explicitly calculate” the impact closing sites would have on bills.

Hunterston B power station in Ayrshire was closed last month, while Torness near Dunbar is to be decommissioned in 2028.

It means Scotland will have no nuclear plants operating by the end of the decade, despite families being hit by soaring energy costs.

Regulator Ofgem recently revealed bills could rise significantly in April as they lifted the price cap by more than 50%.

North East Conservative MSP Liam Kerr quizzed Michael Matheson on the closures and has now hit out at the government’s record.

‘Remarkable’

He said: “It is remarkable that the SNP have not carried out any modelling on these closures.

“They have pressed ahead with shutting down these power stations and have ruled out using nuclear as a future energy source.

“Yet they can’t tell us what impact this will have for consumers, which raises serious questions over why this policy decision has been taken.

Liam Kerr.

“They are turning their back on nuclear energy and jeopardising future jobs and energy supplies but can’t answer basic questions or have simply failed to carry out any impact assessments.

“The SNP are being naïve in being completely opposed to nuclear energy and the very least they could have done was undertake this modelling.”

‘Poor value for money’

In a written answer to a parliamentary question from Mr Kerr, Mr Matheson claimed nuclear power stations are “poor value” for consumers.

He said: “We do not have modelling explicitly calculating the potential impact of the closures of Hunterston and Torness however we believe that nuclear power represents poor value for consumers.

Michael Matheson.

“There remains considerable uncertainty around the economics of new nuclear generation, and the long-term storage of nuclear waste remains a difficult issue.”

‘Reliable source of clean energy’

Nuclear Industry Association chief Tom Greatrex claimed Scotland could be forced to burn more gas to meet energy demands despite pressures to meet net zero environmental targets.

The former Labour MP said: “Scotland’s nuclear stations have been the cheapest, most reliable source of clean electricity throughout this energy crisis.

“Together, Torness and Hunterston B have been the two most productive green energy assets in Scottish history, and without them, we will have to burn more gas to fill the gaps in power generation.

“Scotland’s impressive record on low carbon power has been underpinned by our nuclear power for generations.

“If that is not to be squandered then nuclear will need to be part of our future clean power mix.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from The Courier Scottish politics team

More from The Courier