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Energy watchdog 'is rethinking renewables charging'

Energy regulators are rethinking plans for further charges on renewable electricity producers, Alex Salmond, the First Minister, claimed yesterday.

Mr Salmond was meeting the chairman and chief executive of Ofgem last night to discuss how Scottish generators are levied.

The Scotsman this week joined the growing campaign against plans to introduce crippling new charges that threaten Scotland’s renewable power industry.

During First Minister’s Questions, Mr Salmond said the energy regulator is reconsidering plans to make generators in remote areas pay more for the loss of electricity – in the form of heat – as it passes along cables.

The payments would penalise schemes further from population centres, such as wind and tidal energy producers in the north of Scotland, as they travel further to reach consumers.

Asked about the high charges to connect to the grid in the north of Scotland, Mr Salmond said plans to imposing a further tariff in terms of transmission losses discriminated against Scottish generators.

“The good news is that Ofgem is thinking again about that aspect,” he said.

By Rhiannon Edward

The Scotsman

21 September 2007