Thursday, 22 April 2010

Gibson highlights transmission charges discrimination

News release
Immediate release

Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has called for a European style transmission charge which doesn't discriminate against energy production in the North of Scotland.

Mr Gibson words came during a debate in the Scottish Parliament on transmission charges which sees producers of energy along the North Coast charged as much as £22 (per kilowatt) to transmit power to the National Grid. Whilst producers in the some parts of the South of England gain a subsidy of around £7 (per kilowatt) to do the same thing.

Mr Gibson said that the in countries like Ireland and France the transmission charge is a flat rate across the country. He said that regime like that was only fair and should be implemented across the UK so that Scotland especially the Highlands and Islands are not discriminated against.

"It is to the great blot on Scotland's energy prospects that the UK Government and OfGem allow these charges to stand. A more blatant discrimination against energy production in the North of Scotland is hard to find."

"It is incumbent on the next Government, whichever party rectifies this anomaly and gives us a fair and flat rate for all parts of the UK. If a country the size of France can afford to charge a flat rate across the vast area then surely the UK should follow suit, anything else is discrimination."

"I would favour a pan-European grid which would have a flat rate for access. That has to be an end worth pursuing. A European grid would increase energy independence for the continent which would in turn help open new markets to Scottish renewable energy suppliers."

"Caithness and Orkney as well as other areas of North and West Scotland have an unbelievable exciting future. However obstacles such as the Crown Estate and transmission charges stand in the way of that future being fully achievable."


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