The Queen’s untimely death has given politicians time to reflect and adapt to the new priorities of Prime Minister Truss as outlined in her energy statement and first PMQs.

The SNP should be ready to tackle a UK Government that’s evidently on collision course with Holyrood over future energy security, with plans for more nuclear, fracking, Cambo-drilling and oil/gas licences and less solar, onshore wind and no green levies (which finance insulation).

The Truss strategy runs counter to the renewable energy mix developed in Scotland. And completely counter to any kind of logic.

The new drilling licences will take years to produce any gas. When they do, supplies will be sold to the highest bidder, boosting BP and Shell profits again, rather than creating lower prices for British consumers.

Perhaps that’s why Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clarke boasts that Liz Truss aims to make the UK a net energy exporter. It’ll have to be because ‘just-in-time’ Britain has no gas storage and therefore must export supplies to smarter countries with publicly-funded storage facilities - like Germany which already has enough gas to provide 85% of its winter needs. They might sell some of it back to us, but only at higher prices than they paid us. It’s crazy.

All because the Tories opted not to invest in a replacement for Centrica’s ageing gas storage facility in the Rough field, closed for safety reasons in 2017. The North Sea Transition Authority has just given Centrica permission to reopen Rough. But is it suddenly safe? Is there any Truss talk of investing in new gas storage? No.

So new oil and gas, when it finally comes onstream in 5-10 years’ time, will have to be exported. How does that help the benighted UK consumer today? Not at all.

And there'll be more nuclear energy in Scotland, as Liz Truss informed Ian Blackford in her first PMQs. The SNP Westminster leader should have chucked his second scripted question aside and immediately challenged the politics of that appalling suggestion – because cost, community consent, safety and timeline are all against nuclear.

But more importantly for Scotland, our vast marine energy potential will never be harnessed if the lazy primacy of nuclear remains.

Hinkley C nuclear power station is a decade late, wildly over-budget and won’t come into service till 2027 - if the British Government finds new investors to ‘ease out’ Chinese state-backed group CGN.

Sizewell C, if it’s ever built, won’t produce electricity until the 2030s. The average nuclear plant can take 18 years in planning and construction, against a tenth of that time for renewables. Solar farms can be constructed in just four months – but Liz Truss has unaccountably set her face against them.

What about small modular reactors (SMRs)? Rolls Royce says smaller reactors can be constructed more cheaply, built in a factory, transported in modules and fitted together ‘like meccano’. Yet so far, the world’s only SMR is in Russia, while Hitachi’s high-profile SMR project at Wylfa Newydd and Toshiba’s at Moorside in Cumbria have both been mothballed, prompting the passage of a Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill earlier this year to create public/private partnerships for future nuclear construction. So, public cash will be underwriting private nuclear plants. And Labour backed the bill to the hilt.

Does Scotland need new nuclear? We emphatically do not. The offshore Seagreen wind array exceeds Scotland’s entire electricity demand. With tidal and wave energy, heat pumps, local community grids and district heating for home energy also in the mix, Scotland should be laughing all the way to the Green Bank.

But it’s not, because energy is a reserved power and Scotland is caught up in Westminster’s nuclear obsession.

Which means no long-term subsidies and contracts for tidal developers, no continuity for turbine manufacture yards and low investor confidence in Scotland’s marine energy resource. As one expert put it, “if you have a mindset that wants Scotland kept at heel politically, then you want to see Scotland with nuclear and fossil energy, tied and locked in to UK policy”.

This was always madness. But it will be turbo-charged by the new energy priorities of Liz Truss. Unless someone really rattles the cage. And since Labour is stuck in a nuclear credibility race with the Tories, that someone can only be Ian Blackford.

So, the SNP must regroup fast to champion renewables – especially marine – and oppose new nuclear, even though its imposition here is a fairly empty threat given Holyrood's control over planning. Even so, Tory taunting over SNP/Green opposition to North Sea drilling will dominate a second independence referendum so the party must get onto the front foot, explaining marine energy as the baseload energy of the future, that can help balance the intermittency of wind with ‘flick of a switch’ power.

The technology is ready. According to Simon Forrest of Nova Innovation, “Tidal energy is now on a commercial pathway. We can deliver baseload tidal energy, at small nuclear scale, cheaper than nuclear, more quickly and without any toxic legacy. It is no longer ‘if’ tidal energy happens, it is ‘where’ and ‘how quickly’.”

So why on earth is the Truss government pursuing old hard-to-reach, slow-to-extract oil and gas along with a ‘new nuclear’ that hasn’t been successfully implemented anywhere? Clearly this is about keeping investors happy, and guessing – maybe correctly – that voters in a crisis want familiar-sounding technologies and won’t scrutinise the exorbitant costs or long lead times.

Labour’s position on all of this will be key – why would oil and gas firms invest in new fields if a change of government in 18 months’ time and the eventual resolution of the Ukraine crisis might turn oil and gas into stranded assets again?

Yes, nuclear currently provides Scotland with baseload energy. But then so did coal. No energy solution should be on the starting line-up for a decarbonised future, just because it’s done heavy lifting in the recent past. The future is renewable. Someone needs to remind Liz Truss.

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