Electricity transmission charging rules are “restricting the development of major renewable energy projects”, says Claire Mack, Chief Executive of industry body Scottish Renewables.

The industry body has reaffirmed its calls for the UK Government and Ofgem, the energy regulator, to work together in the spirit of COP26 to achieve a solution to the Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) charging regime, as government had previously committed to do in its recent energy white paper.

Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables

Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables

As Claire Mack explained: “COP26 has exposed the urgency of the challenge facing our environment and the discussions which have taken place in Glasgow will be critical in shaping the future of our planet and our quality of life.”

Closer to home what Scottish Renewables believes we need now is for the UK Government and Ofgem to work together in the spirit of COP26 to ensure that Scotland’s world leading renewable energy industry can play its full role in advancing the UK towards achieving its own climate change ambitions.

But the current rules which govern how the electricity network is paid for were designed 30 years ago and are critically out of date according to Mack: “TNUoS remains enormously destructive to Scotland’s offshore wind industry which has access to 25% of Europe’s offshore wind resource, and of course our climate ambitions. These charges are volatile and unpredictable and penalise Scottish renewable energy projects to the tune of tens of millions of pounds every year.”

The Transmission Network Use of System charges which are levied on Scottish projects mean they are now almost 20% more expensive than equivalent projects in the south of England: “If the UK is to have any hope of meeting net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and delivering on its ambitions for COP26 we must take advantage of every tool we have.”

A review and reform of TNUoS, which Scottish Renewables has consistently called for, will ensure that Scotland’s renewable energy industry can contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions.

Scottish Renewables represents around 265 member organisations working across all renewable energy technologies including wind, solar, wave and tidal, hydro and more, which now provide the equivalent of 97.4% of the electricity consumed in Scotland.

Claire Mack: “Scotland’s renewable energy sector is a vital part of the country’s economy, supporting thousands of jobs, bringing socio-economic benefits to some of our most remote regions, as well as offsetting billions of tonnes of carbon every year and it’s vital that the UK Government and Ofgem support it through reforming TNUoS.”