Calls for end to anti-Scottish grid charges

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News that the coalition government is to lift the ban on local authorities selling surplus energy to the National Grid has prompted calls from the SNP for immediate reform of the discriminatory connection charging regime which would see Scottish councils face millions in grid connection charges, while providers in the South receive subsidies.

The locational charging methodology levies higher charges on generators furthest from the main centres of demand for connection and use of the grid.  This favours generation in the southern part of the UK and presents an inbuilt bias in the UK transmission regulatory system against Scottish based generation.

 


News that the coalition government is to lift the ban on local authorities selling surplus energy to the National Grid has prompted calls from the SNP for immediate reform of the discriminatory connection charging regime which would see Scottish councils face millions in grid connection charges, while providers in the South receive subsidies.

The locational charging methodology levies higher charges on generators furthest from the main centres of demand for connection and use of the grid.  This favours generation in the southern part of the UK and presents an inbuilt bias in the UK transmission regulatory system against Scottish based generation.

As a result, Scottish generators produce 12 per cent of UK generation, but account for 40 per cent of the transmission costs, or about £100 million per year more than their fair share.

The average national grid transmission charge in each local authority area is available at:
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/Apps2/Business/PQA/default.aspx?pq=S3W-27749

The charging regime means that, for example, an energy provider in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire would have to pay £20 per kw for a grid connection while London-based energy provider would be subsidised by £3 per kw.

Commenting, SNP Westminster Energy spokesperson Mike Weir MP said:
“Lifting the ban on local authorities is a step in the right direction, but what is really crucial is ending the discriminatory connection charging regime which works against the development of clean, renewable energy in Scotland by forcing generators to pay millions of pounds more to use the grid.

“Scotland has overwhelming energy potential but our future wealth is being sabotaged by these unfair charges which discriminate against Scotland. For example, Peterhead Power Station has been forced to pay £29 million a year for the right to produce power while an identical generator in London would be paid £3million to set up shop. This ridiculous position must be brought to a halt.

“Chris Huhne needs to stop defending this anti-Scottish bias, and the announcement that local authorities will be able to sell surplus energy must be matched by action to reform the connection charging regime.”