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31 May 2015

MSP Demands Action on UK Government's Unfair Transmission Charges

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD NEEDED FOR SCOTTISH POWER STATIONS

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson has written to the UK Government’s Energy Secretary to urge a re-think on the UK Government’s unfair transmission charges and to demand a ‘level playing field’ for power stations in Scotland – after further expert evidence given in the Scottish Parliament this week.
Mr Stevenson – whose constituency includes Peterhead power station – wrote to Amber Rudd in the aftermath of evidence given to the Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee by Professor Karen Turner from the Centre for Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde.

Professor Turner’s evidence made clear that the current transmission charging regime is “the main obstacle in terms of securing energy supply” in Scotland – and is one of the reasons behind the premature closure of the Longannet power station. Professor Turner also pointed out that Peterhead power station is currently operating under capacity because “it’s not economical for it to operate at full capacity”.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“It’s abundantly clear that the UK Government’s unfair transmission charging regime is causing real damage to our energy sector – threatening security of supply, holding back the potential of our power stations and putting jobs at risk.

“It is simply not right that a power station in Scotland can face crippling transmission charges when an identical power station in the south of England would actually be subsidised – and experts like Professor Turner have made clear the serious impact this is having in Scotland.

“The security of our future electricity supply and the jobs of the many hard-working people in the sector must not be put at risk by the continuation of this unfair, indefensible practice.

“It is time for the UK Government to take real action to level the playing field - and the SNP will continue to make the strong case for a fairer energy market which allows Scotland’s power generators to flourish.”
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