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Response to DECC consultation on additional support for island renewables


On 30 October, Scottish Renewables and Renewable UK responded to DECCs proposals for additional support for renewables developments on the Scottish islands. 

Scottish Renewables and RenewableUK believe the development of onshore wind and marine energy on the Scottish islands constitutes a separate class of renewable generation, and warrants separate treatment and a different level of support to those projects connecting to the mainland electricity network. We therefore welcome the commitment to support delivery of renewables projects on the Scottish islands. However, we have some concerns that require to be addressed to ensure the proposals function in line with DECC’s objectives:

  • We recognise that not all projects will be built out at the proposed level, but we do feel that targeting only 400MW of the supply curve is particularly flawed. In which case, and to ensure overcompensation is avoided, Scottish Renewables and RenewableUK believe that a separate uplift should be provided for each of the island groups on the basis that such uplifts do not exceed the support offered to offshore wind. This is in line with the conclusions and recommendations of the Baringa/TNEI report.
  • It is essential that an earlier signal than that proposed is sent to the marine energy industry to provide appropriate reassurances that prohibitive transmission charges will not damage developments expected to deploy during the second EMR Delivery Plan. This is crucial as investments are being made now, and certainty on this issue is pivotal to ensure investment can continue to flow and technologies can move closer to full commercialisation
  • We have some concern around the validity of targeting only 400MW of the onshore wind supply curve on the Scottish islands. If the presence of this modelling assumption translates into any type of ‘capacity limit’ under a CfD allocation process, it is highly possible that this could render the uplift impractical and present difficulties in terms of delivering economically efficient sub-sea cabling. The outcome of which would have implications on GB electricity consumers realising the important value for money objectives of the uplift. 
  • It must be recognised that without a resolution to the barrier created by prohibitively high use of system charges, it makes little sense for a developer to seek access to the electricity network and underwrite their connection in the first place. Therefore, addressing only one side of the problem will not resolve the issue – grid access and grid use of system charging must be resolved in tandem for the problem to be overcome.

For further information, please contact: 

Catherine Birkbeck 
Senior Policy Manager: Grid & Markets
T:0141 353 4000

Posted on 30/10/2013

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