UK’s net zero plans at risk ‘unless energy grid charges reviewed in Scotland’

·2 min read

The UK Government should review energy grid charges in Scotland if it does not want to jeopardise its own net zero plans, SNP MP Alan Brown has said.

The MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun put forward in the House of Commons a bill that seeks to completely overhaul the grid charging structure within the UK.

The charging regime means that renewable generators in Scotland pay higher costs to connect their electricity to the National Grid than those in other parts of Great Britain or Europe.

Mr Brown told the House: “What is the point of the UK Government bragging about a net zero target of 2050 and a plan to decarbonise by 2035 when they do not seem capable to see the bigger picture?”

Alan Brown
Alan Brown seeks to overhaul the grid charging structure (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)

He insisted that the regime “jeopardises their own net zero plans as well as Scotland’s own targets”, adding: “It makes a mockery of the levelling up agenda. A levelling up agenda which in reality is just about targeting the Red Wall seats of north England and the Midlands. An agenda confirmed last week by the the disgraceful decision to class a Scottish CCS cluster as a reserve.”

Mr Brown also noted that having the highest geographical charges in Europe “creates an uneven playing field” when looking for investment, as the majority of European countries do not have locational charges.

He went on: “The ones that do, charge way, way less than what is enforced in Scotland. If I developed a grid-connected turbine in each of the following countries: Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Austria, France, Slovakia, Romania and Belgium, than the combined locational charges for these nine turbines across nine countries would be less than the charges imposed on a single turbine in the north of Scotland.”

His Electricity Grid (Review) Bill was listed for a second reading on December 3, but is unlikely to become law due to a lack of parliamentary time.

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