Highland power 'keeps English lights on'
Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond was in Inverness on Saturday, saying England’s lights would go out without the large and growing supply of renewable energy generated in the Highlands.
The SNP leader was hitting back after Better Together campaign leader Alistair Darling came to the city last week and claimed independence for Scotland would force up energy bills for Scottish households.
The former chancellor of the exchequer said the rest of the UK would not need Scotland to secure its energy supply and warned the value of Scotland’s oil reserves plunged by £4.5 billion last year, the equivalent of the country’s schools budget.
He said: "If Scotland was on its own, if you suddenly had a drop in oil revenues, it would mean there would be public spending cuts which would make austerity that we have now pale into insignificance."
But Mr Salmond said Mr Darling should "quit the doom and gloom" because supplies of electricity in the UK were tight.
"What are they going to do if they do not import Scotland’s renewables? The lights in England would go out in two years without it," he said.
"Scotland has just one per cent of the EU population.
"However that one per cent has 20 per cent of the fish stocks, 25 per cent of the marine renewable potential and 60 per cent of the oil reserves," Mr Salmond added.