HC Deb 26 January 1966 vol 723 cc193-4
16. Mr. Buchanan-Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what study he is making into the future of hydroelectric generation by pumped storage; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ross

The Scottish Electricity Boards are at present considering jointly what form of generating capacity would be most suitable to meet the increasing demand after 1972, when the stations at present under construction will be completed. All forms of generation are being considered, including pumped storage.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

Does not the Secretary of State agree that, in view of the curtailment of the generation of hydro-electricity in the traditional method, the planning teams built up by the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board are in danger of being dispersed and that a decision about the future of this type of scheme would be of great benefit to hydro-electrical work in Scotland.

Mr. Ross

It is because of the delay created by the decisions taken by the last Administration in relation to this matter that we are concerned to ensure that these schemes should be applied quickly to the possibilities in relation to pump storage.

Mr. Russell Johnston

Will the right hon. Gentleman take note that we are rather surprised by this new-found enthusiasm for hydro-electricity in the Conservative Party? Will he also take note that many of us equally regret that, although the Labour Party was so vigorous in its advocacy of this method of generation, now that it is in power it does not demonstrate quite the same enthusiasm?

Mr. Ross

I have taken both notes.