Hunterston B – one of Scotland’s two nuclear power stations – was allowed to close with a replacement specifically precluded by Scottish government policy. One door closes, while another remains slammed shut.
As the world fights climate change, Nicola Sturgeon, the most photographed non-participant at the COP26 climate summit, presides over the closure of one of Scotland’s key sources of power without carbon dioxide emissions.
In its lifetime, Hunterston generated enough electricity to power every house on Scotland, every minute of every day, every year for more than three decades. But with a policy as much of a throwback to the Seventies as sideburns and flares, the SNP are anti-nuclear power.
Scotland needs an energy mix as we transition to carbon neutrality, but in this SNP era of soundbite without policy, the Scottish government cannot see it. They want an independent Scotland to be shielded by an umbrella of nuclear weapons in Nato, but no Scottish hearth warmed by nuclear power.
The planet will pay for this hypocrisy as we miss carbon targets, and everyone will pay as they struggle to heat and light their homes.
The First Minister is fond of saying that Scotland’s electricity comes 100 per cent from renewables, but we know that is untrue. Indeed, one of the factors in the rise in electricity bills this winter is that the weather did not generate enough of the conditions for renewables last summer, and so we imported more gas to make up the gap in generation.
Scotland should be able to make up the shortfall in gas without importing it, but a slowdown in the North Sea, and Ms Sturgeon’s opposition to the Cambo oil field development, have stymied that.
The First Minister has no credible energy policy to present, but if you piece together her soundbites and her selfies you can see a picture of a Scotland where supply is insecure, and the only thing you can rely on is rising prices.