A Glasgow energy company boss has warned that unless more power stations are built in Scotland the country will be in danger of seeing “the lights go out”.
Chief executive of global specialised energy company Aggreko Rupert Soames said focusing on long-term renewable energy goals created the risk of looming supply problems being ignored.
Speaking at a business conference in the Scottish Parliament attended by leading SNP cabinet ministers, Soames questioned the renewable energy policies championed by Holyrood’s political parties and called for the continued use of nuclear power.
In particular, he highlighted aims to de-carbonise power without nuclear power, gain a meaningful contribution from tidal power and generate 10% of energy from wind.
Claiming that “our ship is heading towards the rocks”, he said key questions should be asked of political leaders before they were “allowed on the bridge”.
MSPs have drawn international plaudits by passing climate change legislation committing Scotland to cutting carbon emissions by 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
First Minister Alex Salmond wants Scotland to become a world leader in renewable energy and opened the conference with a speech supporting tidal and wind power.
But Soames, 51, the grandson of Winston Churchill and brother of Tory MP Nicholas Soames, said: “Absent a massive and immediate programme of building new power stations, with concrete being poured in the next two years, we will be in serious danger of the lights going out.”
Aggreko describes itself as a world leader in the rental of power generation and temperature control equipment. The firm provides temporary power to large-scale events, such as the Vancouver Winter Olympics, and works in countries with power shortages.