Cameron should try save Longannet

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It is clearly disappointing to note that Prime Minister David Cameron has refused to take the action in the wake of the news that Longannet power station in Fife could soon face premature closure due to the effect of UK energy policy, especially transmission charging.

Unless National Grid agrees a deal, Scottish Power will be forced to take a decision on the plant’s future next month and thus the urgent need for UK Government action now.

The key reason for this threat is that the current transmission charging 
regime discriminates against Scotland as it is based on location.

And while we host 12 per cent of electricity generation in the UK we pay 35 per cent of the network’s running costs.

This means that Longannet pays £40 milion a year to connect to the National Grid while an equivalent 
generator in Yorkshire would pay £15m and a power station in London would 
receive several million pounds annually.

It is vital that the UK Government end once and for all an iniquitous charging regime that discriminates against Scottish electricity generation.

With hundreds of jobs at risk at Longannet it is vital that action to address this issue is taken now, keeping the lights on.

Alex Orr

Leamington Terrace


Alex Salmond was fond of declaiming the “discrimination against Scotland” of the National Grid pricing structure. As usual this was, as they say, economy of the actuality.

Grid pricing was designed to encourage siting of power stations to minimise the cost and environmental impact of pylons, etc, something with which I hope we would all agree.

Longannet is where it is because the cost benefits of its situation far outweighed any supercharge on connection costs; as Professor Ponton (Letters, 27 February) points out, it is strange that this issue is now being raised after 40 years of operation.

Why? I suspect that in an anti-fossil fuel, anti-nuclear environment, this is the overture to a demand for 
decommissioning at public expense.

Talking of which, being aware of the Californian experience of land owners finding it more advantageous to simply disappear than to decommission obsolete turbines, I enquired about the planned proposals for Scotland.

Years later, it does not surprise me that like Geoff Moore (Letters, 27 February) similar enquiries have had the same absence of response.

Do we really have a joined-up and costed energy roadmap? It would appear not.

(Dr) A McCormick

Kirkland Road