A Robust Grid for 21st Century Scotland: 1st Report of Session 2012-13, Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence

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The Stationery Office, Aug 28, 2012 - Business & Economics - 115 pages
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In December 2011 and January 2012, Scotland was subject to numerous storms that caused damage to homes, road and rail infrastructure, as well as leaving tens of thousands of residents without a power supply. In some cases it took more than three days before power was restored. Although all of Scotland was affected, it appears that the most severe damage occurred in the Highlands and Islands. The Committee's inquiry focussed on: the frequency and severity of weather-related power cuts in Scotland; the consequences of such power cuts to individuals, businesses and public sector services; the current condition and technological state of Scotland's electricity transmission network, and what conditions it is built to withstand; the advantages and disadvantages of using an alternative electricity transmission infrastructure, particularly regarding its vulnerability to weather-related damage; whether the response provided by the energy companies was satisfactory; and how the regulation of transmission network operators and distribution network Operators impacts upon investment in Scotland's electricity transmission network. The Committee conludes that while blackouts following severe weather incidents can never be completely eliminated, one way that they can be minimised is by ensuring that the grid is in a robust and well maintained state before any such incidents occur. The increase in renewable energy generation also offers opportunities for networks to be less reliant on single vulnerable electricity lines to serve remote communities. The value of compensation for loss of power currently offered and the conditions under which it applies should be improved.

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