LONGANNET AND COCKENZIE: HARVIE ON FUTURE ENERGY AGENDA
Patrick Harvie MSP, the Scottish Greens' economy and energy spokesperson, today called for an energy agenda focused on demand reduction, storage and low-carbon, in light of the announcement by Scottish Power that Scotland's last coal-fired power station, Longannet in Fife, is to close on 31 March next year.
Scottish Power has also dropped plans for a gas-fired power station at Cockenzie in East Lothian.
Patrick Harvie, Scottish Green MSP for Glasgow and a member of Holyrood's economy and energy committee, said:
"The cost of connecting to the grid is certainly a factor in Scottish Power's decisions but more importantly Longannet was always due to close due to the polluting nature of its production and the advance of clean, renewable energy generation. While Scottish Power hopes to avoid compulsory redundancies, it is utterly unacceptable that the workforce and local communities have been left in limbo for so long. The Scottish Government and Fife Council should have been drawing up a plan for a jobs transition long ago.
"At Cockenzie it is important that local communities are put in charge of what happens next. There are economic opportunities for areas such as Fife and East Lothian to create more local employment that will last.
"Scotland's energy agenda must now focus very clearly on energy efficiency and demand reduction, increased storage, a new North Sea transmission grid and low-carbon energy generation with greater community ownership."
In February this year a Scottish Green amendment to a Holyrood energy debate called for "focus on a just transition for workers". SNP, Conservative and Libdem MSPs voted against; Labour MSPs abstained.