First Minister Alex Salmond has revealed that delays to grid charging reforms will cost Scottish electricity generators £90 million and risk postponing benefits to consumers.
Currently, Scottish electricity generators pay transmission charges up to five times higher – than those levied in southern England.
Salmond and Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing jointly chaired a meeting of industry and academic experts following an announcement by UK energy regulator Ofgem of its intention to further defer a decision on a proposed charging structure that would benefit Scottish electricity generators.
The Project TransmiT proposals aim to ensure the charging regime promotes greener energy while also keeping transmission costs under control.
Ofgem will now undertake a further round of consultation with industry and other stakeholders before making a decision on whether to implement a new charging regime for from April 2016 – two years behind the date originally proposed.
Salmond said: “Our meeting was very helpful in assessing the impact of this unwarranted delay in crucial decision-making.
“There was broad consensus that the review of transmission charging over the last three and a half years has undoubtedly demonstrated the case for change – and the urgent need for clarity on the way forward.
“Wide agreement exists across industry and political circles in Scotland on the changes needed to facilitate the move to a low carbon energy mix. “
Ewing added: “Scottish generators account for around 12% of capacity connected to Britain’s high-voltage electricity network but pay around 35% of the charges.
“While Ofgem’s proposals have the potential to lessen this discrimination by reducing Scotland’s share to 25%, this would still be double our share of generation capacity installed across Great Britain.
Salmond is now seeking an urgent meeting with the Chairman and new Chief Executive at Ofgem “to further press Scotland’s case.”