Alex Salmond’s plan to export electricity generated by wind farms is destined to fail because other countries can provide cheaper energy, an expert has warned.
The First Minister has overseen a relentless march of wind farms across the countryside and believes Scotland will be able to sell ‘green’ energy.
But Professor Jack Ponton, a former vice-president of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, has warned that electricity produced by turbines is ‘expensive’ and ‘uncontrollable’.
He said that France has cheaper nuclear energy it can export, while Norway sells low-cost hydro power to Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
Onshore wind power costs around £187 per megawatt-hour, compared with £60 per Mwh for conventional forms of energy.
Professor Ponton said: ‘Alex Salmond has said he has a vision of Scotland as the Saudi Arabia of renewables. What he implies is that Scotland will make lots of money selling renewable energy to the rest of the world, as Saudi Arabia does with its oil.’
The expert pointed out that while oil is easy to transport and store, wind-generated electricity ‘is only available when the wind is blowing’.
Professor Ponton concluded: ‘Contrary to the First Minister’s implicit assertion that Scotland will make money out of its wind-generated electricity, our country will make nothing at all. In fact, we will all be worse off because we are all footing the bill, via increased electricity bills, for his Government’s current almost pathological fascination with renewables.
‘If Scotland’s becomes independent, why would the rest of the UK and Europe pay inflated prices for electricity when they can get it much cheaper elsewhere?’
A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘Scotland is already an exporter of energy. With the potential for 25 per cent of Europe’s tidal energy, 10 per cent of its wave energy and 25 per cent of all Europe’s offshore wind resources, the development of grid connections to Ireland and across the North Sea can only increase the opportunity for us to deliver renewable energy to other countries.’
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