The UK government is to press ahead with plans for easing transmission charges for wind farms in remote parts of Scotland, despite opposition from the energy regulator Sir John Mogg. After a consultation on its proposals, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) concludes that existing high transmission charges for potential renewable generators in outlying areas of Scotland would be at odds with its policy on renewables. The Scottish Highlands and Islands enjoy one of the best wind resources in Britain, coupled with low population and therefore less potential opposition to wind farms, making them attractive to developers. DTI plans to set either a discount or price cap on charges for use of the transmission network. It will consult further over the details in the autumn. Meantime, the government is to introduce the power to effect the change in an amendment to the Energy Bill, currently going through the House of Lords. The costs of the extra transmission will be spread over all British electricity suppliers and are expected to be minimal. Mogg, however, spoke out against the plans saying they are "unnecessary and misguided." Renewable generators already enjoy large subsidies, he says, pointing out that the Renewables Obligation alone is worth around £45 extra for every megawatt hour of renewable electricity and will provide support of £485 million to the renewables industry this year alone.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol