– Scottish Parliament written question – answered at on 16 July 2010.

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Photo of Lewis Macdonald Lewis Macdonald Labour

Question S3W-34742

To ask the Scottish Executive, further to the answer to question S3W-34319 by Stewart Stevenson on 18 June 2010, what the terms of reference are for the review into the exact need for new capacity for generating electricity from non-renewable sources.

Photo of Jim Mather Jim Mather Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government’s Climate Change Delivery Plan, published on 17 June 2009 sets out at a high level the options available to meet the statutory targets in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. This includes a largely decarbonised electricity generation sector by 2030 using renewables complemented by fossil fuelled plants with carbon capture and storage.

As part of their obligations under s.38 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act (2009), Scottish Ministers are required to lay a report outlining the impact on emissions of the exercise of their electricity generation related functions. To fulfil this obligation, and in light of recent developments in our renewables potential, the Scottish Government is currently conducting an internal study on the extent of the need for new thermal generation. This will take account of our clear policy on CCS and CCS retrofit which requires demonstration of CCS for new coal plants on a minimum of 300MW net from day one, retrofitting by 2018 following a review of the technical and economic viability of CCS, and full CCS on new builds from 2020, and will reflect the competitive and dynamic nature of the electricity market.

The report will include an assessment of energy demand and supply projections – including the current electricity supply base, projected rates of renewables deployment and planned retirement of existing baseload plants. It will also be informed by the energy storage and demand management study.

The outcome of the study will provide a high level assessment on the extent of need for new thermal generation capacity and an evaluation of the potential security of supply issues that may occur in Scotland during the expected transformation towards a decarbonised electricity supply sector by 2030. This assessment will be one of the factors taken into account in considering policy on future generation options, alongside environmental, social and economic criteria.

The initial findings will be presented to the Thermal Generation and CCS Industry Advisory Group for its consideration and advice before the report is published in the autumn.

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