A Scottish Alternative? (1955–64)

  • Leslie Hannah


The independent North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board had been responsible for generation and distribution in the sparsely-populated North since nationalisation (see Chapter 12 above). The new South of Scotland Electricity Board, set up in 1955, covered the central urban areas and the South (see pp. 162–3, above). Both Boards were independent of Citrine’s Central Authority and later of the Electricity Council and the CEGB in England and Wales; and they reported to the Secretary of State for Scotland instead of to the Minister of Fuel and Power. The South Board was somewhat larger than the North Board (accounting for nearly three times the electricity generated by the North in the mid-1950s). Both in the terrain covered and in its mix of generating plant, the South had more in common with the English and Welsh electricity supply system than with its northern neighbour, though the two Scottish Boards were to draw closer together in the following decade. That decade was to be an eventful one for Scottish engineers and managers, and their early experiences of the new responsibilities of independence and the task of remodelling an organisation were to provide a mixed bag of lessons for onlookers from England.


National Grid English Counterpart Atomic Energy Authority Rural Electrification Area Board 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    E.g. D. L. Munby, ‘Electricity in the North of Scotland’, Scottish Journal of Political Economy, vol. 3, 1956; H C Deb., vol. 581, cols 103–6, 27 January 1958.Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    Scottish Development Department, Report on Hydro-Electric Schemes (1964); see also H C Deb., vol. 721, cols 1002–3, 1004–7, 29 November 1965.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    per cent real return is a very high level, even by private enterprise standards, though in view of the tendency of capital projects to escalate in cost during the 1960s, it may have been a realistic ex ante if not ex post test. Subsequently, hydro-electric proposals in Scotland, other than pumped-storage schemes, have failed to pass a more modest 5 per cent real return test. Cf. R. Turvey, ‘On Investment Choices in Electricity Generation’, Oxford Economic Papers new series, vol. 15, 1963.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    A. Robens, Ten Year Stint (1972) pp. 144–5.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    F. L. Tombs, ‘Longannet Power Station’, Coal and Energy Quarterly, no. 8, Spring 1976.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Electricity Council 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie Hannah
    • 1
  1. 1.London School of EconomicsUK

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