Next month Ofgem are due to publish a consultation document which will show the cost of feeding the north of Scotland's renewable energy into the national power grid could fall by 80%. The costs are estimated in a draft pricing and investment model.
It suggests the access charge for wind and marine power from the north of Scotland would fall from £24 per kilowatt to less than £5. Currently a sliding scale of charges show those in the south of Scotland pay around £12 per kilowatt and in much of the south of England there is a subsidy of more than £6 per kilowatt.
The draft report shows how the cost per kilowatt in the north and north-west of Scotland would fall from £24 to less than £5 if the cost of accessing the grid was equally spread. If it was equalised not to support renewable power but new build gas-powered electricity generation, the unit cost would be £12 throughout Britain. Sounds good so far.
One of my readers, Joe Public, brought this to my attention and sent me his comments:
Joe isn't pro-nuclear but he's aware we need power to be dependable and affordable. If Scotland is to be the 'renewable power house of Europe' then we have much to do to achieve a reasonable balance between price and reliability.