Power Grid

21 Sep 2021

UK Urged to Share Grid Charges Equally

21 Sep 2021  by   
The UK parliament's Scottish Affairs Committee has today called for transmission charges and grid investment to be equally shared across the UK to help strengthen the Scottish renewables sector.

The committee made four recommendations to the UK government in a report released today.

It said the energy regulator Ofgem must consider the financial burden of transmission charges in Scotland.

Ofgem should consider the long-term impacts on net zero targets, and ensure renewable energy projects can flourish over the next 30 years, rather than pushing for a short-term, lowest cost view.

The regulator should also complete a review of the grid in Scotland as a “matter of urgency” and prioritise reinforcement of the grid where there is potential for a high renewable energy yield.

The next Contract for Difference round of funding should guarantee financial support for development of tidal energy, not just at the lowest cost, but with a long-term view that focuses heavily on net zero targets and best value for money, up to 2050.

The UK government should use part of the £12bn outlined in the Ten Point Plan to invest in renewable energy in Scotland.

Scottish Affairs Committee chair Pete Wishart said: “In our committee’s latest report, we have identified the need to ensure Scotland is not left behind in the renewables race and nowhere is this more apparent than within the current transmission charging regime.

“We therefore strongly recommend that Ofgem must now address the issues around transmission charges in Scotland and help us meet net zero.”

Orkney Islands Council political leader James Stockan said: “With this report by the Scottish Affairs Committee at last common sense prevails – and we very much hope the findings will be heeded by Ofgem.

“The current system is particularly discriminatory for our islands – and we thank the Committee for taking the time to come to Orkney to hear our concerns – and for really listening.”

Scottish Renewables chief executive Claire Mack said: “We welcome today’s report from the Scottish Affairs Committee which calls for a review into the imbalance of transmission network charging across the UK which acts as a barrier to the development of renewable energy technologies in Scotland and affects the ability to invest in a grid fit for net-zero.

“Scotland has some of the best renewable energy resource in Europe and harnessing this to its full potential will only be possible by removing this key barrier.

“We urge the UK government to take this recommendation and make this a top priority to enable the delivery of our climate change targets.”

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