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  The announcement that Ofgem intends to change its transmission charging regime to encourage more low-carbon energy has been welcomed today as “a step in the right direction”.

The SNP and Scottish Government have lobbied the UK Government extensively alongside the energy industry to change the regime which currently discriminates against renewables producers in Scotland.

The changes proposed are expected to see costs for wind power generators in the North of Scotland reduce by £13/kW, narrowing the gap with what generators in other parts of the UK are charged, but will still retain the system of basing transmission charges on location that sees companies in Scotland face far higher costs.

The changes being proposed from 1 April 2014 will see the type of electricity generated and the way in which energy generators utilise the grid factored in to the charges imposed, lowering costs for renewable generators. The new methodology will also factor in the costs of transmitting energy from Scottish islands to the mainland, by reducing the charge such generators face from the level it would otherwise have been.

The current situation sees energy generators in Scotland charged more than in the rest of the UK, with those in remote areas where renewable potential is often greatest facing the highest charges while generators in the south of England are subsidised rather than charged for the energy they produce.

Commenting, SNP MSP Mike MacKenzie who sits on the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee said:

“Today’s announcement will see the costs faced by renewable generators in Scotland reduced – particularly in the islands – and that can only be considered a good thing.

“There is no doubt that this is a step in the right direction and I believe it should be welcomed as such. The improvements that are being announced are the result of heavy campaigning by Scotland’s energy sector and those who want to see renewables flourish and should be considered a significant victory on their part.

“That said it is a disappointment that Ofgem remain fundamentally wedded to a system that subsidises generators in the south of England while landing those in Scotland with the highest charges in the UK.

“Scotland has enormous renewable energy potential and the transmission charging system should recognise the need to prioritise and develop our renewables sector so that we can meet our ambitious climate change and renewable energy targets.

“I hope that the proposals announced today will be smoothly put into place next year and will help to encourage further growth in the renewables sector across Scotland.”


2013-08-02 12:38

Why does it seem that every time Scotland comes up against hurdles to it`s progress Westminster is usually there having placed said hurdles.
Here we see to achieve a level playing field alone involves a stramash.
Transmission charges, APD, corporation tax, crown estates, broadcasting.
Why chip away at Westminster`s brick wall when we can get ourselves a wrecking ball and take back what most countries take for granted.
When is the rest of the UK gonna wake up to the fact that London`s power and influence is a disadvantage to the rest of us?
It`s becoming ever clearer that Scottish indy is the only thing that will re-balance the economies of the regions.
I look forward to the day when the North of England has powers to reverse the decline in their economy too, a bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone. Infact it`s in both our interests to prosper.
Saoghal Eile
2013-08-03 08:25

Transmission charges are a ridiculous, London centric regime that awards generators close to London and charges the further you are from the place. It is levy against Scots generation, adding over £100 per MWh.

i thought the act of union stated that Scotland would not be subject to discriminatory taxes…..then again it never stopped them in the past.

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