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Transmission of renewable energy

The development of clean, renewable energy in Scotland is being put at risk by the ‘intolerable’ electricity transmission charging regime, First Minister Alex Salmond has said following a meeting with representatives from the National Grid.

Mr Salmond pushed the ‘unanswerable case’ for a charging system which will support, rather than work against, the development of renewable and clean energy.

The FM said:

“Scotland is united against the National Grid’s Electricity Transmission Charging Regime which works against the development of clean, renewable energy in Scotland.

“Last week, the Government, Scottish Power, Scottish and Southern Energy and the Scottish Renewables Forum presented our unanswerable case to OFGEM. It was a useful and constructive meeting with OFGEM responding positively to our detailed and robust case for change.

“Earlier today the National Grid told us that they accepted the whole system was due for fundamental review.

“There is no justification for charging a power station in Longannet £33 million when it would pay – not charge – an equivalent power station in London £13 million. Similarly, Peterhead would be charged £30 million while a power station in Seabank, in the southwest of England, would be paid £3.05 million.

“Yesterday I met with council leaders from the Highlands and Islands – the areas most discriminated against under this intolerable regime. They told me that charges of up to £80 per kilo watt have been quoted to developers in Orkney. Such extremes of charging can have no justification and similar examples were put to me from Shetlands and the Western Isles.

“These are just some of the points we pushed in our meeting with the National Grid today. Scotland is the most energy rich nation in Europe – with an unrivalled array of potentially cheap, renewable and low-carbon energy sources. We have the ability and skills to develop clean coal and carbon capture & storage technologies. UK and Europe need Scotland to help meet renewable and carbon reduction targets. Yet the existing transmission charging regime is nonsensical and counter-productive, working against the development of these resources.

“The National Grid’s acknowledgement of the need for a review is significant progress and builds on our recent positive discussions with OFGEM. Both the National Grid and OFGEM have now listened and responded positively to our unanswerable case for change. We will continue pushing our case for Scotland until we have removed this unnecessary barrier to clean, renewable energy.”

The Scottish Government

18 April 2008