Murdo Fraser MSP

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Member of the Conveners Group

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Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Murdo Fraser

I agree with much of what the minister says about project transmit and the delays, many of which are not of the UK Government’s making, but can he explain why transmission charging is such a problem for Longannet and other conventional generators when the same regime, which applies to renewable energy, is not preventing massive renewable energy development from going ahead today?



Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Murdo Fraser

Will the minister give way?



Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Murdo Fraser

Will Patrick Harvie give way?



Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Murdo Fraser

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. When a member deliberately misrepresents and misquotes what another member has said in the chamber, what steps can I take to have the record corrected?



Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Murdo Fraser

On a point of order, Presiding Officer.



Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Murdo Fraser

Will Chic Brodie take an intervention?



Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Murdo Fraser

Will Mr McDonald give way?



Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Murdo Fraser

Does the minister include in his denigration of all those who disagree with his stance Professor Paul Younger, professor of energy engineering at Glasgow university? Why does Professor Younger not buy into the vision that the minister has just set out?



Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Murdo Fraser

No—I need to make some progress.

In his amendment, the minister mentions

“the need for increased investment in large-scale flexible electricity storage solutions, including pumped storage”.

If we are to rely on intermittent sources of energy, he is right to say that we need more storage, but how much more? Does the Government know? I have seen an assessment this week that says that we would need 20 large-scale pump storage schemes. Does the minister agree? If the figure is not 20, how many such schemes do we need? Where would they be built? What would the cost be? Those projects would cost billions in capital expenditure to create. What would the impact on electricity bills be? Does the minister have any answer to those questions, or is he simply making it up as he goes along? We will hear from him shortly.

I turn briefly to the other amendments. Although I agree with the tone of much of Lewis Macdonald’s amendment, unfortunately it deletes the motion’s reference to the closure of Hunterston and Torness, which makes it difficult for us to support it. In addition, I see that Labour’s famous resilience fund is getting yet another run-out; I wonder how many times over that pocket of money has been spent.

The kindest thing that I can say about Patrick Harvie’s amendment is that, after yesterday’s campaign launch, it is good to know that at least one person in the Green Party can finish a sentence. As to the substance, it is the stuff of fantasy. I do not know anyone with a professional involvement in power generation who believes that we can rely wholly on renewables for our energy supply. Even the industry trade body, Scottish Renewables, does not make that claim.

Over the past decade, we have heard a lot from the Scottish National Party and from the former First Minister about how Scotland is to be the Saudi Arabia of renewables and how we are an oil-rich, energy-rich nation, so what an irony it would be if the only way of keeping the lights on in Scotland would be to import power from England, yet that is exactly where we are heading. Members should not take my word for it—that is the view of Professor Younger, who said last week:

“We will be reliant on importing power from England for about 25% of Scottish demand”.

We need at least one new gas-powered generating station for Scotland, and if we are not going to replace Torness and Hunterston with new nuclear capacity, we will probably need more than one. I would like to make a bid for a new gas station to be located at Longannet in Fife. The infrastructure is there, the skills are there and the workforce is there. If the existing station at Longannet has to close—sadly, that looks inevitable, whatever happens to transmission charging—let us have a replacement in that corner of Fife. That needs to be part of a broader energy strategy, which is currently lacking.

I will close by again quoting Professor Younger. Talking of the Scottish Government’s approach, he said:

“We need to be consistent here and have a bit of leadership”.

I agree entirely with that. We need an updated energy strategy for Scotland, and we need that urgently before the lights go out.

I move,

That the Parliament notes with concern the latest threats to the continued operation of Longannet Power Station in Fife, contributing 25% of Scotland’s electricity output at its peak; urges Scottish Power and National Grid to work toward a resolution of the transmission charging issue, but recognises that EU emissions rules and carbon pricing mean that the future of Longannet beyond 2020 is very uncertain; further notes that Scotland’s two nuclear power stations, at Torness and Hunterston, which produced 35% of Scotland’s electricity output between them in 2013, are due to close by 2025; acknowledges the significant loss of electricity generating capacity that this is likely to cause in the next decade; notes that renewable energy, while having a part to play in the energy mix, cannot supply baseload from intermittent sources and that the Scottish Government is opposed to any new nuclear stations being built, and calls on the Scottish Government to bring forward as a matter of urgency a new energy strategy, setting out how new generating capacity will be created to ensure that the lights are kept on without Scotland having to rely on importing energy from the rest of the UK.

14:52  

Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Murdo Fraser

The reality is that all energy sources require a level of subsidy. That is the regime that we have under contracts for difference. However, Mr Brodie needs to bear it in mind that new nuclear power is cheaper than every form of renewable technology, including onshore wind. Members on the SNP benches should bear that in mind.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12423.1 Alex Rowley: Commission on Local Tax Reform—As an amendment to motion S4M-12423 in the n
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NoCarried

S4M-12423 Marco Biagi: Commission on Local Tax Reform—That the Parliament supports the establishment
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NoCarried

S4M-12385 Liz Smith: STEM Education in Scottish Schools—That the Parliament agrees that a solid grou
>> Show more
NoCarried

S4M-12395.1 Fergus Ewing: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion S4M-12395 in the
>> Show more
NoCarried

S4M-12395.2 Patrick Harvie: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion S4M-12395 in t
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NoDefeated

S4M-12395 Murdo Fraser: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—That the Parliament notes with concern the l
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NoCarried

S4M-12385.3 Alasdair Allan: STEM Education in Scottish Schools—As an amendment to motion S4M-12385 i
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NoCarried

S4M-12382.3 Mary Fee: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to motion S4
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Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12382.1 Gavin Brown: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to motion
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Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12382.2 Willie Rennie: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to moti
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Murdo Fraser
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12413: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 24/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12395: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 23/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12355: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 18/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12141: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 22/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12076: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 15/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11887: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 12/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11756.1: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 01/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11741: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 27/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11670: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 24/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11574: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 17/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Murdo Fraser
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-24484: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 17/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24481: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 17/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-04024: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 09/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24343: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 05/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24294: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 03/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24293: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 03/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24292: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 03/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24165: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 26/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03990: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 26/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23985: Murdo Fraser, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Question >>

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