Powering England’s green revolution and paying extra for the privilege

Typically muted in the Herald today:

Electricity transmission charges are acting as a barrier for investment in green energy projects in Scotland and will hit the transition to a low carbon economy, experts have warned. A new analysis by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Transmission, which is responsible for the network for the north of Scotland calls for reform of the current charging regime which means that renewable generators in Scotland pay “significantly” higher costs to connect their electricity to the National Grid than those in other parts of Great Britain.

The UK Government with the help of the BBC likes to make much of the UK’s green revolution. See this from June 2020:

Rarely heard, especially on BBC Scotland is the extent to which Scotland makes this, otherwise impossible achievement, possible.

The report doesn’t mention Scotland. Why should it mention Scotland? But it gives me the opporchancity to repeat this:

In Energy Voice on 28 January 2020:

‘Mammoth Highland offshore wind farms are footing a bill of around £20 million more per year than English projects to connect to the grid, according to the builder of what will be Scotland’s biggest wind venture. The levied regime in the UK, called transmission charging and set up by the energy regulator Ofgem, is understood to be a major disadvantage to projects in the windiest regions of Scotland – with a £20m per year price tag that could rise to £30m by 2025’

Not only is Scotland paying extra to connect to the grid, but the electricity is then being transferred to England, Wales and Northern Ireland to compensate for their lack of generation and to help the UK appear to be meeting its carbon reduction target. See:

Government figures reveal the massive and increasing level of transfer of electricity from Scotland to England. In 2018 only, the transfer rate increased from 13 512 GWh to nearly 25 000 GWh. 1 GWh would heat 700 000 homes!


Note that the ratio of transfers from Scotland to England compared with those from England to Scotland is 25 to 1!

And it’s not just electricity from renewables, the UK’s claims for tree-planting conceal something:

New figures published today [11th June 2020] show that despite the COVID-19 challenges, Scotland delivered over 80 per cent of all new tree planting in the UK.


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16 thoughts on “Powering England’s green revolution and paying extra for the privilege

  1. Down in the SE and London they are subsidised to connect to the grid ,this has been going on for years and Ofcom will do nothing,they did a report sometime ago nothing to see here was the outcome.
    Scotland stuffed again.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, I spotted this too, in Energy Voice this morning. To flesh it out a bit:

      ‘Plans for a new low-carbon power station in the north-east, which would support hundreds of jobs during the construction and operation phase, have been unveiled. SSE Thermal and Equinor have teamed up to develop what could become one of the UK’s first power stations to be equipped with carbon capture and storage in Peterhead.’

      ‘It’s claimed the plant would “propel” the UK’s net zero ambitions, meeting 15% of the UK Government’s 10 million tonne target for carbon captured by 2030.’

      Most may know, but just in case: Equinor is Norway’s state-owned energy company, formerly Statoil! (Envy!)

      Fuller information to be found here: https://www.equinor.com/en/where-we-are/united-kingdom/110521-peterhead-CCS.html

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Posted on Wee Ginger Dug this morning

    Alex Clark says:
    May 10, 2021 at 10:37 pm
    Open Democracy reveals the extent of “dark money” being spent on facebook ads encouraging tactical voting for Unionist parties in the election. It also exposes how the Greens may have been denied an addition two seats by a far right party using the name Independent GREEN Voice that may have duped voters.

    Another website, run by former Brexit Party MEP Brian Monteith – who was also behind Capitalist Worker – bought more Facebook ads in the final week of campaigning than the SNP.

    Monteith’s Think Scotland, which does not reveal the sources of its funding, spent £12,600 pounds on Facebook ads in the week to 6 May. The SNP, by contrast, spent less than £10,000.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Irony alert!
    But Scotland is so far away and energy transfer is so slow. It takes a whole 2 milliseconds for Scottish electricity to reach London.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Think the reason given is to encourage building of generating capacity to London / south England . . . Based on energy loss in cables over large distances. . . . . . . There are large centres of population else where such as Scotland’s central belt, obviously that doesn’t count.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Reminds me of a conversation I once had with my sister. I went down to see my family in Manchester quite a lot. As I worked, I’d drive down over Friday night and back on Sunday afternoon.

      After their first visit to Aberdeen, I said to my (retired) sister and brother-in-law “Nice to see you. I hope you’ll be coming back soon”.

      Her “Not likely. We’ll see you when you’re next down. It’s a long way you know.” No irony alert necessary – she was 100% serious.

      I, of course, apologised for forgetting it was quicker for me to make the trip because it was downhill.

      You see, we need to pay compensation for the fact that it’s easier for us to transfer energy than it would be for them. Obvious! /s

      Liked by 1 person

  4. On Topic. . . .

    A lot of money has been spent on an undersea cable / connector from Hunterston in N. Ayrshire to Wales another cable comes down Scotland’s West coast to Hunterston.
    These cables are intended to carry renewable energy to England.
    So all the “propaganda” put about during Indy Ref. 1 that England would look to France for cheaper electricity than Scottish Renewables wasn’t true then and they knew that as the planning for this connector would have started years before

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is Bodger Broon’s ‘pooling and sharing’ in action. Scottish energy is ‘pooled’ and the ‘shared’ with England and Wales, but, Scottish users have pay more because we are ‘distant’ from the main users, despite the central belt having sign I can’t ‘users’ – viz, Glasgow, Edinburgh and the towns in between.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The Tories denied £Billion for Peterhead and Longannet projects. Scotland is covered with coal. CCS extraction. The Tories are spending £Billions on HS2, Hinkley Point, Trident etc. A complete waste of monies. The civil service are fiddling the business case.

    Scotland pays more for fuel and energy because it is colder. Despite being in surplus and nearer the source.


    1. The point of the article is to point out that Scotland is CHARGED £millions to connect to the er, ‘national grid’ while parts of England pay way less and some are even paid to connect. Scotland doesn’t pay more because it is cold! Scotland is not ‘nearer the source’ Scotland is the source, and yes is in surplus in energy. It’s one main reason why the EngGov will do everything they can to keep Scotland shackled, while they siphon away Scotland’s massive resources and wealth.
      You could hardly make it up.
      I hope the SNP make a song and dance about this, they need to shout it out very loudly, many, most people have no clue that their country is being scammed yet told they are too poor. Scotland is being ripped off to the tune of £trillions, it’s really sickening.
      Ps the ‘national grid’ was old to a US company, it’s they who operate it.
      If you look at EngGov investment in energy, it’s all happening in England.
      Energy is of course another reserved power to the English government.
      Scotland is an occupied territory, simple.


  6. It is worse than that when you think about it John, it feeds into the GERS scam of where companies are deemed to operate and where income etc are declared..

    The only way Scotland can address the multiple scams created by Whitehall over many decades is via Independence – only then can we analyse and re-appraise the realities, pros and cons of what is in Scotland’s best interests..
    I don’t mean that as a strict financial rebalance, frankly England couldn’t afford the bill were wrongs to be righted Whitehall style, and I doubt many Scots would favour England being left in the dark, and Europe controls the alternative gas supply.

    Having control over our own economy without the “illusions” and outright lies imposed by London is crucial, only then will Scotland’s true condition become clear, but however brutal this may sound, England has been in deep shit for a very very long time indeed, much of it a consequence of an abusive relationship with Tories which continues to this day, BUT, addressing that is very much THEIR problem.

    How Westminster post-Indy reverse the “subsidy junkie” myth they created will be hilarious to observe, but yet again, that’s THEIR problem.

    Liked by 1 person

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