Nicola Sturgeon urges against 'panic' over potential energy blackouts

The National Grid has warned about the impact of a shortage of gas supplies.

Nicola Sturgeon has said that people should not be in “a panic” over potential energy blackouts this winter in the UK.

It comes after a warning from the National Grid that households could lose power if gas supplies run extremely low.

The move would see consumers in different parts of the country being notified a day in advance of their power being cut off for a three-hour period.

It would be designed to reduce total energy consumption by 5% in order to ensure the “security and integrity” of the electricity system across the country.

The National Grid described it as “unlikely” that people would be left without power due to an energy shortage.

However, it is one of a number of scenarios that are currently being considered, with energy usage set to rise over the colder months.

Speaking to STV News ahead of the SNP’s party conference in Aberdeen, Scotland’s First Minister underlined the need for government planning around the supply of energy.

“I think everybody should be concerned, but not in a panic,” she said of the prospect of shortages.

“The National Grid yesterday set out different scenarios, it’s important to say that their central scenario is that supply will meet demand over this winter.

“But, they set out other scenarios should imports and gas supplies be cut off more than is currently anticipated.

“I think we’ve got to plan for that.”

Sturgeon pointed to the renewable energy capabilities that Scotland has, as she explained the principle responsibility for energy lies with the UK Government.

She said: “We have to be honest with the public and suggest to the public sensible energy efficiency, which people would want to do for cost reasons and for environmental reasons right now.

“We’re part of a GB-wide grid, so the principle responsibility – energy is reserved – lies with the UK Government.

“There is a real irony for Scotland right now and it’s particularly galling for Scotland.

“We’re a net exporter of electricity, including to the rest of the UK.

“We already generate sufficient renewables to cater for almost 100% of our electricity needs, we’ve got vast renewable potential.

“So, there’s something wrong with a system that, given all that, has Scotland facing sky-high gas prices and the prospect of energy shortages.

“And I think that does underline, over many years now, a lack of proper planning around all of this from the UK Government.”

The First Minister also insisted there should be a “robust” climate compatibility check in the event of any new oil exploration in the North Sea.

“This has to be a balanced energy policy that prioritises the move away from fossil fuels, the whole world has to do that” she said.

“Now, what I’ve said on oil and gas, it’s a current part of our energy mix and important in our economy so we’ve got to move away from it justly and fairly, but as quickly as possible.

“There should be no go-ahead for new exploration that is not subjected to a very robust climate compatibility check.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code