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Scotland Can’t Afford Independence: Windmills Will Bankrupt It

by | 9th, November 2011

SCOTLAND can’t afford independence. This is a fun little set of numbers:

David Cameron has endorsed an expert report that warned Alex Salmond’s plan for a renewable energy revolution would increase the average household power bill by £875 in an independent Scotland.

Here’s how the number works out.

All those lovely windmills, the solar panels, the attempts at clean coal, all these different methods of trying to make sure that Gaia doesn’t boil us all, are paid for through the electricity bills. There’s no actual tax money (or very little rather) that goes to fund them, the cost of all these things is added to the ‘leccie bills through the feed in tariff (FIT). For example, solar panels installed before now get 45p or so per unit of ‘leccie produced (coal perhaps 10p) and we pay for this by all of us (no, not just those who sign up for “green power”) paying more on our ‘leccie bill.

Maybe this is a good idea and maybe it’s not, I’ve long argued that it’s a terrible one but let’s leave that aside for the moment.

The Scottish problem is that they’ve got huge areas of the country where there’s fuck all people (except the odd MacDonald and even the Scots aren’t quite sure about their humanity) but lots of hills where the wind blows pure and free. Great places to put windmills and lots of windmills have been put there.

However, if Scotland became independent, instead of all of us Brits chipping in a bit from our ‘leccie bills it would be only those Scots who have to chip in the whole amount. So instead of us all paying (say) £87.50 a year then the haggis stealers all have to pay £875 a year to stop Gaia boiling us.

Now of course, being free from the hated English, being independent and at liberty, is a prize beyond price, of course it is.

It’s just that when you actually ask people about it coughing up £875 a year seems to be the sort of number that people think might not be worth that freedom and liberty. That freedom has costs often comes as a surprise but it does, it really does.



Posted: 9th, November 2011 | In: Money Comments (6) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink