Sturgeon: People of Scotland ‘deserve better’ says Graham
Powered by tidal energy, the turbine has started to generate electricity via the National Grid in Orkney last week. The Orbital O2 has the capacity to meet the annual electricity demand of 2,000 homes for the next 15 years. Its construction was made possible by public lenders through the ethical investment platform, Abundance Investment, and it also received £3.4million from the Scottish government's Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund.
But the UK faces being frozen out of reaping its benefits as the Scottish National Party (SNP) leader steps up efforts for a second vote on independence.
Electricity formed a key part of the first independence battle as Scotland boasts one of the most favourable conditions in Europe for harvesting wind energy.
The Scottish government's 2014 independence proposal stated that a single UK-wide market for each of electricity and gas should continue.
But the Government argued that it saw no basis to justify continued cost-sharing of a single integrated market and stated the arrangement “could not continue in its current form” – essentially cutting ties.
The UK faces being cut from the benefits of Scottish renewable projects
The turbine has started to generate electricity via the grid in Orkney
Former UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "I think Britain's single energy market – where we are integrated as we are now, where energy flows across the border very easily - that makes our energy more secure, it keeps costs down and it will enable us to go green, to go low carbon.
"Split that up and all those benefits go.
"As secretary of state for energy and climate change for the whole of the UK, I really care about what is happening in Scotland.
"If I am no longer secretary of state for energy in Scotland I have to put the interests of consumers in England and Wales and Northern Ireland first."
The Government warned that household energy bills would increase by at least £38 and annual household bills could increase by up to £189 if the full cost of supporting renewable energy projects fell to Scottish bill payers.
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The Orbital O2 has the capacity to meet the annual electricity demand of 2,000 homes
But the Scottish government refuted the claims and former Secretary for Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing, even claimed that England's lights "would go out" without Scotland's renewable energy.
The SNP said that a single UK-wide market for each of electricity and gas was the only logical step forward.
But according to a report by Herbert Smith Freehills, the UK may not be as reliant on Scottish energy as Mr Ewing insinuated.
They stated in April: "In 2019 Scotland produced 15 percent of the UK’s electricity, but only used 10 percent of it, while England used 82 percent having produced 73 percent.
"More importantly, net exports from Scotland are largely a function of its high proportion of wind power capacity so only when these are generating electricity Scotland exports.
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Mrs Sturgeon has made her intentions clear
The SNP wants to rejoin the EU
"At such times the main impact on the rest of the British market is for gas-fuelled power stations and other flexible capacity to reduce generation.
"Without the more diverse continuing British electricity market to draw on, Scotland’s reliance on intermittent wind generation might become more challenging.
"In this regard, we note that the Scottish government proposes to make substantial use of carbon capture and storage which could be a low carbon route to maintaining flexible fossil fuel generation and also making use of North Sea related assets.
"It would appear to be in the interests of both an independent Scotland and the UK to continue cross border trade in electricity for the sake of security of supply and lower costs for consumers. "