There was just an interesting item on BBC Radio 4. It is the policy of the Scottish executive that 40% of Scotland's energy supplies must come from renewable energy sources by 2020. However, there is apparently a problem because the National Grid may not be willing to connect up these new generators. So the electricity may be generated but be incapable of being delivered.
In February work started on a hydro-electric power station at Glendoe. Funding has been granted to develop generators using wave power in Orkney, and there is an extension in the number of wind farms. All very commendable and 20% or more of the energy will be surplus to Scottish needs and can be exported to England.
But the National Grid is now a private company, and has no obligation to link up these new power stations in order to implement government energy policy, whether that policy comes from Westminster or Hollyrood. What is more the National Grid was built in the 1960s with a 40 year expected life time, and needs to be overhauled and replaced, but the private owners have no intention in doing so, except in a piecemeal manner as it breaks down.
What fuck-wits thought of privatising the National Grid without building in an obligation for replacing it when it wore out, or updating it to meet national energy policy? Interestingly, the Tories – a unionist party –did more to break up the UK than anyone. Abolishing or compromising so many of the British-wide institutions, such as British Steel, British Rail, the National Grid, National Coal Board, etc.
So now the Scottish Executive will have their energy policy scuppered by a private British company, while the Scottish parliament has no powers to force this British company to follow their elected mandate. This is a clear example of how the issue of Scottish Independence runs contrary to the logic of the free market.
In the meantime, Tony Blair relies upon Scottish Labour MPs to force educational reforms onto England that do not affect their own constituents.