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"Charging the wrong way" analysis highlights disparity in grid transmission charges.

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New analysis, ‘Charging the wrong way’ by the consultancy Renewable Infrastructure Development Group (RIDG),  a member company of RenewableUK, highlights the risk of the UK becoming a ‘net importer’ of renewable energy in upcoming years, due to a national regulatory system which favours the imports from EU countries.

Germany, France, and the Netherlands have ‘significantly cheaper’ rates because of very low transmission or non-existent transmission charges. This favours electricity exports from European countries and puts the UK’s world leading wind resource at risk.

The UK’s green electricity is not being produced at the lowest cost due to significant transmission charges. UK consumers could expect reduced electricity tariffs and a responsibility lies with the transmission operator to ensure surplus energy can be exported.

Furthermore, transmission charges are not spread evenly throughout the UK. Generators in England and Wales pay an average of £0.49/MWh, whereas generators in Scotland will pay an average of £6.42/MWh. The trend gets more extreme further north, where the average cost in the most northern parts of Scotland is £7.36MW/h.

The uncertainty around the transmission costs means potential higher costs for the consumer as generators factor in the uncertainty into the cost of developments.

Rod Wood, Managing Director at Community Windpower Ltd said “The current method of transmission grid charges across the UK is not sustainable.

“If we are serious about reaching net zero carbon emissions in the UK, Ofgem needs to make significant changes to the current system in order to take advantage of the plentiful wind resource we have, here in the UK.

“We cannot afford for the UK to become a net importer of green electricity when we have such a massive wind resource readily available. The UK has the potential to become a key international player in the green energy market but will continue to lag behind unless change is made”.

 

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