Islands must get fair access to the National Grid demanded SNP MEP Alyn Smith. In a top-level deal to be struck this week, Ofgem will agree how much to charge generation companies for transmitting electricity and the MEP says it must stop overcharging islands.
Alyn has long been of the view that the current transmission regime constitutes discrimination against renewables generally and island generators in particular, and has today (Tuesday) written to Lord Mogg, Chairman of Ofgem in advance of the meeting.
"It's time to end the discrimination against our islands, we've waited long enough. Just now they pay extra to get the electricity they generate onto the National Grid and that is, quite simply, unfair. The same is true for other remote communities. Ofgem has an opportunity this week to make a more level playing field for renewable energy. It's a golden opportunity for Scotland.
"Renewable energy is the energy of the future. We've won the natural resources lottery for the second time in Scotland - but only if we can get the energy from where it's produced to where it's needed and that means affordable access to the National Grid. The current system makes it too difficult and expensive for energy generators on our islands.
"Ofgem have been looking at this issue for three years now. It's had plenty of time to come up with the answers and now it should tell us exactly how it's going to deliver a good deal for Scotland's island communities and remote communities.
"What mustn't happen is for Ofgem to continue the current scheme or introduce a new one with an equally bad affect on renewables. It's essential that we keep up the pressure to make sure this doesn't happen. I'm challenging Ofgem to come up with a scheme that encourages renewables in the areas where the potential is greatest.
"Our renewables industry needs clarity on transmission charges. As Project TransmiT comes to an end this should be a time for hope and optimism for the renewables industry and I'm looking forward to Ofgem giving us a framework that the industry needs."