(From ENERGY MATTERS)
Euan Mearns — January 6, 2016
The Scottish Government has set a target for renewable sources to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s gross annual electricity consumption by 2020.
This target is set without reference to economic and environmental costs and sound engineering practice. Industry and academia have set out to try and deliver the goal, rarely stopping to ask if this strategy is wise or beneficial? Government funds are not available to challenge government policy.
The intended consequence of this policy has been the closure of Cockenzie coal fired power station with Longannet to follow this year with a total loss of 3.6 GW dispatchable capacity. Can Scotland keep the lights on?
The analysis presented here suggests that the Scottish electricity system, underpinned by nuclear and hydro, will most likely survive the closure of Longannet and supports the government position: “there remains a low probability although credible risk that during periods of low wind and hydro output combined with low availability of the large thermal plant, the winter peak demand may not be met.” 
In the early 2000s Scotland’s electricity supply had near 100% redundancy and was absolutely secure. It has been converted into a fragile system, dependent on England, which is ironic for a government that seeks independence. Continue reading here….