Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil says the UK Government has zero interest in tackling the excessive transmission charges in the North of Scotland, which are one of the biggest barriers to the region’s renewable potential.

Mr MacNeil wrote to the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, in September following a meeting earlier this year, urging an end to unjust transmission charges.

Despite some indications at that meeting that this issue would be looked at, the Treasury stated in their response to Mr MacNeil that generators in Scotland do pay higher transmission charges than counterparts in England and Wales.

In the Highlands and Islands, it costs £7.36 per mega-watt (MWh) to transmit electricity from the European Union into the UK energy market. This is 16 times more than sending energy from the European Union into the UK energy market.

Westminster’s sky-high transmission charges are currently the biggest barrier to Scotland’s renewable potential.

Mr MacNeil said: “There seems to be a lack of urgency or interest from the UK Government to change their artificial transmission charging system.  This is in a week when the world gathers for COP 27 with the target of addressing climate change and speeding up the transition to renewable energy.

“This system is costing 16 times more to take power from the Scottish Highlands to the centre of the UK market than it costs independent countries in the European Union to take energy to the centre of the European market.

“Something is clearly wrong. They have an artificial structure from Ofgem, and this is creating a situation which is working against renewable energy.

“Any other government in Europe, when seeing this crazy situation, would do something to change it, but the UK remains twiddling their thumbs year after year.”