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by Kirsteen Paterson
26 March 2022
Alex Salmond: Scottish independence case has 'never been stronger' amid soaring energy costs

Alex Salmond will today address his party's spring conference

Alex Salmond: Scottish independence case has 'never been stronger' amid soaring energy costs

Alba Party conference to be held today

Alex Salmond will today put the rising of cost of electricity at the heart of a "new case for independence".

Last night the Alba Party leader launched its new campaign publication, The Wee Alba Book, which it says presents a fresh prospectus in favour of constitutional change.

Today the party, formed last year, will meet at Hampden Park in Glasgow for its spring conference. It says its activists will distribute 100,000 copies of the 58-page book to households across the country to garner support for Scottish independence "as an immediate priority".

In his conference speech, Salmond - a former oil economist - is expected to criticise the Scottish Government's energy policies, telling Alba members: "In this energy-rich Scotland of ours we produce all the electricity we need from renewable sources and are several times self-sufficient in natural gas.

"So why exactly are our electricity bills up 50 per cent already with the same again to come?

"Why are Scottish heating costs already sky high and dictated by the marginal price of world gas?

"Why are we facing huge amounts of fuel poverty in energy plenty Scotland?

"The answer is because we allow our vast resources, which by rights belong to the people, to be controlled by the pernicious combination of Westminster Government and international capital.

"Instead of closing down the North Sea as bizarrely advocated by the SNP/Green government, Alba say make every consented field invest in carbon capture as a condition of license approval. Let us manage our resources in a way compatible with the future of the planet.

"And instead of the great billion pound giveaway to foreign capital of our offshore wind licenses, which could in time produce up to five times our own electricity needs, then let us take a public share in every single field.

"Let Scotland do with renewables in this century what the Norwegians did with oil in the last - make renewable energy the people’s energy.”

The speech comes one day after Salmond dismissed the SNP's plan to hold indyref2 next year as "not particularly credible" or likely.

And Kenny MacAskill MP, the deputy leader of Alba, told journalists that Scotland has been "sold short" by the Scottish Government in its handling of the recent ScotWind auction.

He said the £700m garnered by Crown Estate Scotland for 17 offshore wind projects was "paltry" in comparison to similar auctions held in other countries.

However, the Scottish Government said the deals promise to "deliver billions more in rental revenues once projects become operational".

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