An official Government report has warned that a yes vote on Scottish independence could see energy bills across Scotland increase by around £189 per year. That's a significant increase in anyone's book, but how has that conclusion been reached? The same report also concludes that jobs in the energy sector would be at risk as investors shy away due to upheaval caused by the separation.
Currently there are renewable energy projects in Scotland and as it stands the costs are shared between the UK and Scotland. If the ties between the UK and Scotland were to break, Scotland would have to bear the full burden of these costs and this, it is argued, is what will push up the price for the consumer. If Holyrood, the Scottish Capital, was to the take the strain of supporting Scottish wind farms, it is calculated the price could rise at least £38 this decade and up to £189 a year moving forward.
Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, was at the heart of the debate, first commenting that the energy sector in Scotland was healthy and booming, but then quickly pointing out his worry over how independence would affect Scottish energy. He said, "The energy sector in Scotland is booming and growing, with more and more jobs and attracting more investment. I fear the economic and energy progress will be seriously affected by the uncertainty and disruption of independence, as investors will hold onto their cash rather than risk it."
This may come as a surprise to you and me after the recent bad media surrounding UK energy, but England has among the lowest bills in Europe relative to its neighbours, and the worry is that Scottish independence would cut them out of the picture and leave them alone to subsidise their windfarms. It was initially thought by the SNP that the UK would continue to subsidise renewable energy projects in Scotland and purchase their energy as we do now. Scotland has a remarkable network of windfarms and is a valuable contribitor of energy to England, but Ed Davey has recently spoken out against this assumption, claiming that England would shop around for the best deal on renewable energy and Scotland would simply become "another customer" for consideration.
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