Donald Miller

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Sir Donald Miller is the former chairman of both the South of Scotland Electricity Board and utility company Scottish Power from 1982-92.

He is a member of Supporters of Nuclear Energy (SONE).

Pro-nuke and anti-wind

Miller has consistently argued against renewable energy such as wind and for nuclear. He has also appeared as an objector against wind farms. [1] [2]

Most recently he has claimed that the unreliability of wind power could mean an independent Scotland would have to import energy from England – leaving it with the highest household bills in the world. In an interview with Scotland on Sunday in August 2013 Miller 'described the SNP’s current energy policy on producing 100 per cent of Scotland’s needs from renewables as “disastrous”'.

...Sir Donald warned that Scots could face the highest bills in the world once a single UK energy market ceased to exist and they had to pay for imported power.

Sir Donald said an independent Scotland could find itself in the same position as Denmark, which produces much of its energy from wind and has the highest household bills in the world – about 
70 per cent more than the UK – because it has to import at premium prices from Norway when the wind is not blowing.

...He said the one thing that would potentially save Scotland is its nuclear power stations, which are due to operate until 2023. However, the SNP has blocked any new nuclear power plants being built 
and have promised to make Scotland “nuclear-free”.

Sir Donald said: “So long as the nuclear stations at Hunterston and Torness are operational Scotland might just about muddle through, but without them would be reliant on energy coming from England. It would be importing energy back when the wind is not blowing strongly enough, and that would be for most of the time.” [3]


Back in 2004, in written evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Europe Miller argued:

The hazards of relying on massive imports of gas, with its much less flexible supply chain compared with oil and its exposure to foreign political instability and international terrorism are many times that which we have faced in the past and need to be a primary consideration in planning for our future energy supplies.
So where is this low cost and reliable energy to come from? Certainly not renewables, with their massive subsidies for a limited and uncertain production ...It is however worth noting that the French (as well as the Finns) are presently in the process of ordering the first of a new generation of power plant in advance of need so that they will be in a position to embark on a commercial ordering programme of proven plant just as soon as it is needed. In the United Kingdom the BNFL/Westinghouse naturally cooled PWR design offers even better economics and reliability. [4]

The following year in 2005, The Scotsman claimed that: "electricity bills for average families will soar by £200 a year because of plans to introduce hundreds of wind farms across the country, according to the former chief of ScottishPower."

In a letter to the Herald newspaper in February 2006, Miller argued:

No other significant power source can match nuclear costs. For wind, adding to the energy purchase price, the Renewables and Climate Change Levy subsidies, the costs of providing stand-by generation as well as the extra transmission (£6bn in Scotland alone), the Scottish consumer is paying four times the cost of power from British Energy's Scottish reactors and that includes provision for eventual decommissioning and waste disposal." [1]

External resources

Notes

  1. Programme
  2. Sir Donald Miller, Persona
  3. David Maddox, Scots ‘face world’s biggest energy bills’ from wind power, Scotland on Sunday, 4 August 2013, acc 24 October 2013
  4. Memorandum by Sir Donald Miller FRSE FREng, parliament.co.uk, 25 February 2004