From SNP Media:
The SNP has Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer are “treating Scots like fools” with their empty rhetoric on renewable energy – as Scotland suffers from the highest transmission charges in Europe under Westminster control.
Alan Brown MP said the sky-high charges, imposed by the last Labour government in 2005 and maintained by the Tories for more than a decade, are the “biggest barrier” to Scotland’s renewable potential – holding back investment and blocking the creation of green jobs.
The SNP spokesperson on Energy and Climate Change said the charges made a mockery of Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer’s claims on the environment, and their visit only served to remind people that Scotland would be better off as an independent country, with the full powers to maximise renewable energy and secure a strong, fair and green recovery.
It follows new research from the Renewable Infrastructure Development Group (RIDG), published in May, which revealed the UK’s high transmission charges are putting billions of pounds of green infrastructure investment at risk by giving the advantage to EU energy imports at the expense of Scottish schemes.
The RIDG analysis found operators in Germany, France and the Netherlands are able to export energy significantly cheaper than projects in Scotland, because they pay very low transmission charges, or none at all – leaving the UK at risk of becoming a net importer of renewable energy in the decades ahead.
On average, EU generators pay £0.46 per megawatt hour (MWh) in transmission system charges, while in Scotland the average is £6.42/MWh in 2021, and £7.36/MWh in the north of Scotland. Of the 36 countries in the European transmission network, 20 do not charge generators at all and only five levy charges based on location. In stark contrast, RIDG forecasts that Scottish offshore wind projects will pay £10/MWh – around a quarter of a project’s revenue – to access the grid in the years ahead.
Commenting, SNP Spokesperson for Energy and Climate Change, Alan Brown MP said:
“Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer are treating Scots like fools with their empty rhetoric on renewable energy – when it is Westminster’s sky high transmission charges that are the biggest barrier to Scotland’s renewable potential.
“These damaging UK government charges are the highest in Europe – leaving Scotland at a major disadvantage to other European operators, blocking billions of pounds of investment and the creation of crucial green jobs.
“Westminster has shown it can’t be trusted on renewable energy. These charges make a mockery of the claims being made by Johnson and Starmer. Their flying visit only serves to remind people that Scotland would be better off as an independent country, with the full powers needed to maximise renewable energy and build a strong, fair and green recovery.
“Scotland has 25% of Europe’s wind resources and 60% of the UK’s offshore wind capacity. Despite being held back by Westminster, the Scottish Government is leading a renewables revolution but only the full powers of independence can unleash Scotland’s maximum potential.
“Until these UK government charges are scrapped once and for all, Scotland will be left at a significant disadvantage to other European operators – with the cost to Scottish operators set to rise even further in the years ahead as a result of Westminster’s negligence.”