A BILL put forward by a Scots MP aiming to “completely overhaul” the system of energy grid charges in Scotland has been successfully introduced in the House of Commons.

Alan Brown’s Electricity Grid Review Bill will receive its first reading in the house on December 3.

The SNP member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun said he wanted the UK Government and the energy watchdog Ofgem to conduct a review of the electricity transmission grid associated charges, to include giving consideration to their abolition, based on geographical location.

This would incentivise the generation of renewable electricity, to maximise output and minimise the passing on to consumers of charge fluctuation risks which resulted in higher prices.

“The driver behind this Bill is that Scotland currently has a high grid charges in Europe,” said Brown.

“The Tory government shrug their shoulders and say ‘it's nothing to do with us, it’s a matter for Ofgem’, however, they’re the ones who set the rules for Ofgem to implement.

“What is the point about the Government bragging about a net-zero target by 2050 and a plan to decarbonise the electricity grid by 2035 when they do not seem capable of seeing the bigger picture?

“While they probably don’t care about Scotland having the highest grid charges, it fits their perception that Scotland’s remote, so additional costs therefore make sense, and anyway it’s just us Scots whingeing again.

“But the reality is that continuing as is jeopardises their own net zero plans, as well as Scotland’s targets.

“It makes a mockery of the levelling up agenda.”

That agenda, he said, was simply about targeting the Red Wall seats in the North of England, confirmed by the “disgraceful” decision to class Scotland’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) cluster “as a reserve”.

Brown said the current grid charging system was introduced in 1992 following the privatisation of the electricity market, and when power was is generated from coal, gas, oil or nuclear power stations.

The obvious strategy would be to consider what a future grid would look like, the best locations for generating lean, renewable energy, what upgrades would be needed to facilitate that and the consider a fair system of charges.

“Having the highest geographical charges in Europe creates an uneven playing field when looking for investment,” said Brown, adding that most countries in Europe did not have such charges and those that did charged much less than the levels imposed in Scotland.

“If a developer built a grid connected turbine in each of the following countries – Finland, Denmark Sweden, Norway, Austria, France, Slovakia, Romania and Belgium – then the combined locational charges for these nine turbines across nine countries would be less than the charges imposed in a single turbine in the north of Scotland.

“That illustrates investor competition for Scotland, let alone the fact that so many other countries such as the Netherlands and Germany generally don't impose geographical charges.”