TORIES HOLD BACK DEVELOPMENT OF SCOTLAND’S RENEWABLES INDUSTRY
Patricia Gibson MP has accused UK Tory Government of wrapping ‘ball and chain’ round Scotland after Tory Ministers ignored a request from SNP MPs and Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee to review the higher electricity grid charges for electricity producers in Scotland. Currently it costs more for Scottish electricity producers to connect to the grid than elsewhere in the UK and Europe.
Scotland currently has 25% of Europe’s offshore wind capacity, however grid charges implemented by the UK Government mean that Scottish windfarms are more expensive than south of the border, deterring investment.
Patricia Gibson MP commented;
“For years, Scotland has had this ‘ball and chain’ round its ankle of discriminatory charges introduced by Westminster.
“Longannet Power Station in Fife closed in March 2016 not for environmental reasons; it faced charges of £17.15 per kilowatt of electricity, while an equivalent power station in Cornwall was paid a subsidy of £5.80 per kilowatt. Longannet couldn’t compete; paying millions each year for its 9,525 gigawatt output.
“Prospective investors in renewable energy need to be encouraged and not have barriers put in their way if Scotland is to complete a just transition to renewables.
“Excessive grid charges aren’t just hampering Scotland’s renewable energy ambitions, they are impacting on the bills of energy consumers and hindering our aim of tackling climate change.”