Ofgem move to make renewable schemes 'unviable'

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Ofgem's plans to charge energy suppliers away from major population centres more for connecting to the National Grid could mean that many renewable schemes in places such as the Scottish Highlands and Islands become unviable, it has been claimed.

Ofgem says that its proposed move will cut the amount of electricity lost as it travels along wires - and will bring savings of £15 million a year and result in carbon emission being lowered by 150,000 tonnes.

The Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has challenged the scheme saying that it could make many alternative energy projects unworkable. Connection charges for a large wind farm in northern Scotland will rise from £60,000 a year to £200,000 a year if the changes go through.

"We are meeting Ofgem in a couple of weeks time and issues like charging will be raised," Sandy Cumming, HIE's chief executive, said.

"This is fundamental. We have the resource and it's only fair, proper and appropriate that we have the opportunity to contribute to the energy requirements of Scotland."

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