MSP comments on transmission charges

WESTERN Isles MSP, Alasdair Allan attended a summit in Inverness recently organised by the Scottish Government to press for fair transmission charges for renewable energy in the islands.

The summit was held following continuing criticism that Ofgem’s current proposals would leave renewables projects in the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland paying six times as much in transmission charges as mainland Scotland.

Dr Allan commented: “The event left a very clear message, I hope, for Ofgem. We must make further progress towards a fair deal for renewables projects in Scotland’s islands.

“The event was attended by Enterprise Minister, Fergus Ewing, as well as MSPs and council representatives from the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland and representatives of the renewables industry and Ofgem themselves.

“If Scotland is going to meet our ambitious targets on renewable energy then we should recognise that Scotland’s islands have a huge contribution to make – not least in the development of new technologies for wave power. The UK Government and its agencies must recognise this too and come up with a transmission charging system which attracts investment to such projects.

“This morning’s summit was very productive and led to the Energy Minister undertaking to keep up the dialogue with Ofgem during their current consultation period on transmission charges. The Scottish Government is already on the record as saying that it would be unjustifiable for any new charging regime to discriminate against the islands.”