REVOLT opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development

REVOLT Newsletter 182

Revolt news 27/02/2005

1. Professor Ian Fells has written an article in the EU Reporter 14.2.05 (see APPENDIX 1 below). It is an important and sensible summary, with useful facts and figures. I might have described the problems with intermittence of wind slightly differently: back-up is required not just for windless days but for the majority of the time, because wind farms normally operate well below capacity owing to the high variability of their power output (varying with the cube of wind speed).

2. An article on objections to the Ullapool - Beauly - Denny line in Scotland is at APPENDIX 2. See also item 5 below.

3. The Professional Engineer 9.2.05 carries a few separate articles about energy matters, with a short editorial comment that government energy policy is often well-intentioned but not entirely joined up. Thanks to David Dugdale for passing it on. The editorial reminds us too that energy issues are not all about electricity generation - transport is now the biggest energy sector. An article on CHP is rather gloomy. Although the Conoco Immingham industrial project (news180.6) has boosted large-scale CHP, there has been a decline in smaller schemes since 2001. But Conoco have said they would not even have considered the Immingham scheme in the market conditions which the government has now created, and there are no schemes in the pipeline. The UK CHP target of 5 GWe by 2000 was not met, though with Immingham it may be when the 2004 figures come out, but the target of 10 GWe by 2010 looks far out of reach. E.on has been trialling its 1 kW microCHP unit for domestic use and sold its first one last year.

4. Snips from news@all-energy are at APPENDIX 3. This source, from Aberdeen, is unashamedly PR promoting renewables, although it includes the occasional report of contrary views (too occasional to be balanced). Still, it gives many useful and timely references.

5. Objectors to the Beauly - Denny line in Scotland are making themselves heard (APPENDIX 4). There is a new group "Cairngorms Re-volt" based around Laggan where the line would intrude into the Cairngorms National Park. They join Strathcap (Strathearn Community Against Pylons), Stirling Before Pylons (from Braco to Denny), Kiltarlity Community Council, Highlands Before Pylons, Views of Scotland and others (news177.2, 177.3 and earlier news). Jane Morrison <Strathcap@aol.com> helps to co-ordinate some of them. Ian Paterson (Stirling Before Pylons) took a petition to the Scottish Parliament 23.2.05 and is organising a first national conference 27.2.05 from which national co-ordination may emerge.

6. A firm called Property Compensation Consultants has contacted Revolt to make its services known (APPENDIX 5). They believe they can help with injurious affection claims and would be glad to hear from landowners with a view to building up their case history information.

7. A landowner at Sale (news177.4, 178.1), troubled by the seemingly unauthorised movement of a pylon on neighbouring land so that it is now close to his boundary, has circulated notes of recent developments. He has received "confirmation from Wayleaves and Easement Enquiry centre that they have examined my proposals and I can proceed" with erecting a telescopic flagpole near his boundary. Any landowner adjacent to a powerline, and not subject to a wayleave, might presumably be able to do the same. He also seeks advice about a dangerous rogue crow on his property, which he shoots at, but which keeps flying near the pylon. I'll keep you posted if I hear more.

8. An important factor in the drive to create wind farms in remote parts of Scotland is the electricity transmission charges they will face. Ofgem proposed charges to reflect transmission costs, but the wind generator companies and their backers complained. Notably Alex Salmond and the Scots national party have demanded equal charges for transmission regardless of origin and distance. In the past, I have found the regulator inclined to be soft on the generator, only charging part of the real cost and not fully accounting for the very substantial losses in long-distance transmission. Then there is the need for extra grid reinforcement, with more pylons the length of the country, not only for the extra bulk transmission, but also for the stability problems associated with intermittent and highly variable wind power. Such grid development would be considered "deep reinforcement" and not charged to the generators causing it, which is another let-off for the wind power companies. The press release at APPENDIX 6 shows that Ofgem has backed down somewhat, so that wind farms will enjoy subsidised transmission as well as subsidised generation. Typical implied transmission distances for excess power from the remote Highlands to areas of net demand in southern England are around 1,000 km, and typical rates of power loss are 2.5% per 100 km, so about a quarter of the power from such remote generators would be lost. Normal wholesale prices to the grid are around 30 per MWh (that's 3p per kWh in domestic terms). Wind farms receive much more through subsidy. So a charge of 7.50 per MWh for losses alone would be reasonable. Then there are grid operating costs. Again the implied transmission length for such remote generators is of the order of 10 times that of most power stations, so the share of costs should be proportionate. The grid has handled some 300 TWh per year at an operating cost around 600 million pounds, equivalent to about 2 per MWh for normal power stations, which should scale to about 20 for remote Highland generators. Hence a transmission charge of 27.50 per MWh would be reasonable. Ofgem says the highest charge under the new regime will be around 9 per MWh for a windfarm.

9. After all my criticism of the downside of intermittent wind generation, I am reminded of the value of small local mixed generation which might include wind. Indeed, where it can be balanced with local back-up, especially if that too is renewable, it can be a "good thing" provided it is not too intrusive. Revolt has promoted the idea of small distributed wind generators, for example by small vertical-axis turbines on urban roofs. Another scheme praised in Revolt news was the local use of wind power in Orkney to produce hydrogen which can then be used for back-up generation. When the then Energy Minister Brian Wilson asked me at our private meeting how wind could be useful I did press the idea of making (storable and transportable) hydrogen off-shore rather than feeding non-storable intermittent electricity into the grid. The technical problems come, and green value goes, when linking remote large-scale wind farms to the electricity grid. After a report from industry giant E.ON denouncing wind farms on the basis of German experiences, the UK government claimed it's different here. Well, it is, but the same principles apply, and it's not all that different - in Germany E.ON reported that wind farms delivered on average only 15% of capacity, whereas in UK the figure for 2003 was 24%.

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APPENDIX 1 Article from Professor Ian Fells

The Future for Nuclear Power in Europe

by Professor Ian Fells, 4th February ?05

Nuclear power provides 32 per cent of EU(25) electricity, more than any other fuel source; coal provides 30 per cent. It is secure, with an enviable safety record and does not put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Recent analyses by the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK and the Paul Scherrer Institut in Switzerland, show the cost of generating electricity from the second generation of nuclear stations is on a par with gas-fired generation, around 2.3p (UK); however, the gas pr ice has risen sharply recently since the reports were written, coal is 2.6p. This makes nuclear a good deal cheaper than onshore wind which comes in at 3.7p without back-up for windless days, and 5.4p with back-up and very much cheaper than other renewable electricity sources such as solar, wave and tidal power. The notion that nuclear power is uneconomic is out of date.

As the UK takes over the presidency of the G8 countries, protection of the environment has risen to the top of the agenda. Prime Minister Blair has called for a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 60 per cent by 2050, in order to stabilise the weather machine. This is an heroic challenge as the EU is unlikely even to meet its modest Kyoto reduction target of 8 per cent of greenhouse gases (of which carbon dioxide is the major component), by 2010.

So why are countries like Germany and the UK phasing out nuclear power, which is a vital component of their carbon dioxide-free power generation, and are decommissioning their nuclear stations as they come to the end of their useful lives, typically between 30 and 50 years? They will all disappear over the next 30 years, and in many cases considerably less, leaving a huge gap in electricity supply. In the UK, nuclear power provides 23 per cent of electricity and in Germany 28 per cent. In the EU overall, nuclear power reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 600m tonnes per annum, equivalent to 80 per cent of the emissions from all transport in the EU.

What non-polluting power source will replace these decommissioned power stations? The political answer is renewable electricity, but this is becoming more and more unlikely as renewable targets are missed. It requires 2,400 large 2 MW wind turbines to replace one typical nuclear station. Because of the intermittent nature of wind (there is no wind at all for as much as one sixth of the time in northern EU countries), reliable back up from coal, gas or nuclear stations has to be provided and paid for. The only reliable, non-polluting power source is large scale hydro power, but we are running out of new sites in Europe. The philosophy of replacing nuclear power with renewables is absurd. All it accomplishes is replacement of one non-polluting electricity source with another. This does nothing to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from the increasing number of gas-fired stations, currently the preferred choice for meeting increasing demand for electricity and replacing old nuclear stations.

Attitudes are changing in some countries. Finland and France take a different view, as do some of the new entrants to the EU. Finland has ordered a new European Pressurised Water Reactor (EPWR), which they see as the cheapest, non- polluting electricity source and one which has the added advantage of being under their control, unlike imported natural gas from Russia. France has a steadily expanding nuclear programme, which goes back 40 years; there are now 56 nuclear stations which provide 78 per cent of French electricity. It is the only country in Europe where carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation have steadily declined. Electricite de France (EDF) has ordered a new EPWR station for the Flamanville site and plans steady replacement of some 19 of its ageing nuclear stations.

France also sells cheap, nuclear electricity to a number of neighbouring EU countries some of whom are happy to buy it despite having an anti- nuclear policy in their own country. In Italy, Prime Minister Berluscone, has indicated a possible move away from Italy?s traditional anti-nuclear stance.

In the Far East, China has announced its intention of building between one and two nuclear stations every year, South Korea is 40 per cent nuclear, Japan is moving ahead with its nuclear programme, as is Taiwan.

The technology of nuclear power has moved a long way since 1956 when the first commercial nuclear power station was opened at Calder Hall in the UK. Inherently safe reactors are available from Siemens-Framatome, Westinghouse, General Electric, Canadian CANDU and others. These new designs produce only one tenth the radioactive waste of current designs and both Finland and Sweden are happy with deep, geological disposal of active waste. There is a safe way of dealing with radioactive waste despite the shrill, often repeated complaints by anti- nuclear groups that there is no solution.

In terms of risk management the possibility of a nuclear accident pales into insignificance beside the risks posed by global warming. If carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are allowed to increase unhindered it will lead to desta bilisation of the weather machine, rising sea levels and increased frequency of extreme weather events. A truly frightening prospect, admitted by most countries of the world with the exception of a few, unfortunately powerful countries, with vested interests in the oil industry. But recently, on January 12th 2005 in an interview in the Wall Street Journal, President George W Bush said ?nuclear power certainly answers a lot of our issues&&.the upcoming energy bill will include incentives for nuclear power?.

There is no simple solution to this problem. A big increase in the use of renewable energy, despite its high cost, is an important part of the solution, but to neglect nuclear power for whatever green, emotional, un-technological reasons is like going into battle with one arm tied behind one?s back. Dr James Lovelock, the distinguished scientist and environmentalist, said in an interview on the 28th August 2004 with the Independent Newspaper that ?nuclear power is the only answer, there is no alternative?. In December 2004, chief executives of over 20 electricity and nuclear service companies launched a joint declaration in Brussels calling for Europe to keep nuclear power ?at the heart? of its energy supply system. Only in this way can the twin challenges of global warming and energy security be faced, they insisted.

If we are to achieve the target of 60 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 we will have to institute a huge global programme of carbon dioxide reduction technologies. The G8 countries will lead the way but it will certainly not be achieved, with disastrous consequences, if we do not include nuclear power as part of the action plan.

Professor Ian Fells, Chairman, New and Renewable Energy Centre, Blyth, Northumberland, UK. Copyright Ian Fells 2005

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APPENDIX 2 Article on Ullapool - Beauly - Denny line.

http://tinyurl.com/7yshu 

COMMUNITY RAISES PYLONS CONCERNS

09:00 - 18 February 2005 A Further Highland community yesterday voiced disgust at the prospect of giant electricity pylons carving their way through an area of beauty in order to link Europe's biggest windfarm to central Scotland.

A week after Ullapool's hopes were raised that the transmission line from Lewis could be driven underground, Kiltarlity Community Council yesterday aired its concerns.

It demanded that Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) buries at least part of the 400kv line which would link Beauly with Denny near Stirling.

The council has written to SSE chief executive Ian Marchant, accusing his company of failing to take the under-grounding option seriously despite the announcement that such a move is an option further north.

Council secretary Ronald MacLean said: "SSE have consistently ignored all the evidence we have referred to in our submissions, which points to under- grounding being significantly less expensive and disruptive than SSE habitually maintain.

Although Highland Council have commissioned a study on under-grounding, SSE refuse to carry out a full analysis of their own. They have never made under-grounding a serious option."

Mr MacLean said the argument was stronger now the regulator Ofgem has increased the allowable cost of the Beauly to Denny line from an earlier estimate of 200m to 332m.

He said: "The increased cost of under-grounding a short length of line, such as the north part of the Kiltarlity section, would be a very small part of this total cost. On the other hand, an overhead line of giant pylons will endanger the environment and economy of this beautiful but well populated rural area."

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APPENDIX 3 Snips from news@all-energy 12.2.05. Selected items below, skipping the hype for wind, reflect political moves towards returning to nuclear generation. It is as if the UK government is using outrage against wind farms as its political softening-up weapon before steering back to nuclear power after the election.

8.FUEL CELLS/ HYDROGEN

8.1.Rapid expansion for CPI

CPI's flagship fuel cell facility in Redcar in the North East of England is expanding. High-calibre staff are being sought to join the team at the facility, which is the only one of its kind in the UK dedicated to assisting and promoting the use of fuel cells in static applications www.uk-cpi.com. Members of the Science and Industry Council recently paid CPI a visit (not yet on website)

8.2.Big Apple takes hydrogen route

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles -- and the hydrogen stations to support them -- are coming to New York, thanks to an aggressive plan rolled out jointly today by General Motors Corp. and Shell Hydrogen LLC 

http://tinyurl.com/6chb5 

8.3.EHA steps up activities

The European Hydrogen Association (EHA), an organisation that promotes the use of hydrogen technology, has decided to step up its activities and has launched an ambitious program for the coming years.

http://tinyurl.com/3n2k3 

9.NUCLEAR

9.1.Nuclear and carbon catching on agenda

A new generation of safe nuclear power plants and coal-fired stations that capture their carbon emissions could solve the problem of global warming, Prof Sir David King, the Government's chief scientist said

http://tinyurl.com/6dee4 

9.2.Labour plots new nuclear power plants

The Labour Party is said to be planning to publish a White Paper that would pave the way for the construction of several new nuclear power stations if it emerges victorious from the forthcoming General Election 

http://tinyurl.com/6dk2a 

9.3.Tories call for nuclear rethink

The Conservatives have called on the Scottish Executive to embrace nuclear power as a green energy source. Tory environment spokesman Alex Johnstone said the executive was "biased" towards onshore wind farms http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/2781359.stm 

9.4.Nuclear on the agenda

The Government said it could consider again the nuclear option if targets for renewable energy - including wind farms - are not met. Junior trade and industry minister Lord Sainsbury of Turville was responding to Question Time challenges in the Lords

http://tinyurl.com/4tu5f 

9.5.Britain fiddles while the world warms

A poll commissioned by the Nuclear Industry Association has found that slightly more people would now support the replacement of Britain's ageing nuclear power stations with new ones than actively oppose it. Opposition appears to have halved from 60 to 30 per cent in three years. An analysis of the situation

http://tinyurl.com/5h4jo 

9.6.US energy boss calls for more nuclear

The world needs a major increase in nuclear energy if it is to tackle pollution and greenhouse gas emissions US energy secretary Spencer Abraham said in a speech to the Generation IV International Forum in Washington

http://tinyurl.com/48gym 

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APPENDIX 4 Cairngorms Re-volt etc.

http://tinyurl.com/4rkvy 

Pylon plans under fire

A CAMPAIGN has been launched this week in a bid to stop a line of massive electricity pylons from being constructed through the southern end of the Cairngorms National Park.

Protesters in Laggan and Dalwhinnie have claimed that the 70-metre high pylons will dominate the main entrance to the UK's largest national park and the surrounding landscape.

Scottish and Southern Energy plc wants to construct a 400,000-volt electricity transmission line from Beauly to Denny, near Stirling.

The new 220km line of pylons will replace the existing 132,000-volt power line which is already clearly visible from the A9 Inverness-Perth road from Drumochter northwards.

The company says that the 200 million line is necessary to relieve constraints within the present system and help meet natural targets from the generation of electricity from renewable sources, much of what will be generated in Highlands and Islands.

The plans have caused protests from residents along much of the route of the line, including in Badenoch, where proposed options for the transmission line run close to Dalwhinnie, Catlodge and Laggan.

Residents in Laggan have now formed a protest group, "Cairngorms Re- volt", and have produced a number of photo montages designed to show the scale of the new pylons against famous landmarks in Scotland.

They say that the pylons will tower over the landscape for miles around, and should not be sited in Scotland's second national park.

Among the scaled images they have produced to support their case is a mock-up of one of the proposed 70-metre high pylons next to Ardverikie House - made famous as Glenbogle in the hit BBC series "Monarch of the Glen" and once considered as a holiday retreat by Queen Victoria before she was driven away by the midges to Balmoral.

Other pictures show a line of pylons coming through Strathmashie Forest, while another shows the new pylons in comparison to the height of the existing ones and the famous Wallace Monument near Stirling and Glenfinnan Monument on the shores of Loch Shiel.

The group is now to liaise with other organisations concerned at the power company's plans.

Roy Tylden Wright said:

"I was shocked when I realised the scale of the pylons. What really bothers me is that Laggan is going to serve, in a sense, as a gateway and official entrance to the Cairngorms National Park.

"What the visiting public are going to see when they enter the park is a massive arch of industrial pillars for power transmission.

"They will form the most dominant and significant impression at the entrance to the park. Is that the identity of the park that we want to establish in people's minds?"

Simon Dodds, who produced the montages, said:

"One of the problems is that when you see a line of the new pylons in a rural setting it just looks like a line of pylons. The existing pylons are 25-30 metres high, while the news one will be up to 70 metres high, and there will be a big change in how they will look.

"Twenty-five-metre high pylons would be hidden by trees but these won't. We can accept the small ones - they have become part of the landscape.

"These pictures give an impression of what they might look like."

Board members of Laggan Forest Trust have also voted to lobby against having the pylons in the national park.

Chair Jo Cumming said that she thought people were only now realising how big the pylons would be.

Dalwhinnie Community Council has also been holding meetings with SSE and local MPs and MSPs in order to keep up to date with the progress of the project.

They are awaiting the announcement of the final line before they take a final view on the line.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority recently called for more information, including photo montages, on the line after SSE asked for comments on a revised route.

The alterations see the transmission line go down Glen Shirra to the east of Kinlochlaggan before crossing the A86 south of Inverpattack Lodge and rejoining the existing line further south.

Along with Highland Council and Scottish Natural Heritage, the authority has also commissioned an independent study into the possibility of putting the cables underground.

A report, looking at the technical options and economical implications of undergrounding, is due in the next couple of weeks.

Sheena Slimon, Highland councillor for Badenoch West and a member of the national park board, said she was pleased that Laggan had joined protests against the pylons.

"The Cairngorms National Park board has always said that they did not wish to see the pylons going through the park, " she said.

"But we have to be aware that the Scottish Executive has the power to force it through and we have to work with SSE and others to ensure that if we have to have the line then it is as unintrusive as possible."

A spokesman for the From Front Page national park authority said: "We have noted our objections to the pylons running throughout the park from day one.

"The next stage of the process for SSE is to make an application to the Scottish Executive to get consent to build the line, and the Executive would seek consultations, including the national park. We also expect that SSE will include photo montages in that application."

No-one from Scottish and Southern Energy was available for comment as the "Strathy" went to press.

It is expected that they will release details of the final route in the next month, along with a planning application to the Scottish Executive.

Work on the project is due to start on the ground later this year, with the line being operational in three to four years' time, carrying electricity south from the renewable energy projects currently being constructed and planned across the region.

17/02/2005

and more .....

Press and Journal:

RUGBY STAR ADDS VOICE TO POWER-LINE PROTESTERS TIM PAULING

09:00 - 24 February 2005 Former Scotland rugby international Kenny Logan has accused power companies of putting profits before public health.

His attack came as MSPs backed a call for more regulation of overhead power lines amid growing concern about cancer from electromagnetic radiation.

He joined campaigners at the Scottish Parliament yesterday to highlight international research that suggests serious health problems such as cancer, depression and miscarriages as a result of long-term exposure to electromagnetic radiation.

The public petitions committee heard the research shows increased risks even within the maximum permitted levels in the UK of 100 microteslas.

The recently-formed Stirling Before Pylons group is calling for an 800-metre exclusion zone around pylons because of proposals to build a 400kV transmission line from Beauly in the Highlands to Denny in Stirlingshire which it claims will pass directly over some properties.

Mr Logan and his TV presenter wife Gabby, who is expecting twins, own land in Logie which will be affected by the 200million transmission line. "The Scottish Executive took the decision to ban smoking because it was a health risk," said Mr Logan.

"Overhead pylons are also a health risk so I'm confident that MSPs will make the right decision. The power companies use overhead lines because it is the cheapest way of transporting electricity.

"There is strong evidence that children are at significantly increased risk of developing leukaemia if they live near high-voltage power lines.

"Many countries have already adopted planning precautions to prevent these tragedies. There can be no reason for Scotland not to follow their example."

The 1,000-signature petition had cross-party support, including that of Presiding Officer George Reid, who represents Ochil.

- - - - and there's more, e.g. Sunday Telegraph today 27.2.05 with some emphasis on the National park intrusion - - 

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APPENDIX 5 Notes from Property Compensation Consultants

Property Compensation Consultants (PCC) act for clients throughout the UK regarding their claim for compensation (injurious affection) against the Regional and National electricity companies.

It is our aim to claim, on our clients' behalf, the correct level of compensation for the diminution in the value of our clients' property due to the presence of electricity apparatus. We do this by using market evidence of comparable properties sold with and without the apparatus.

As you are well aware, the electricity companies defend their position by using case evidence of previous settlements, and obviously these are usually lower than the true market impact. The evidence they use is a closely guarded secret, and many settlements are also secured via a confidentiality agreement, presumably because this may be in excess of the cases they use to defend their position.

PCC would be interested to know the details of any settlements (Deed of Grant), and would also be interested to act for any client who wishes to convert their wayleave into a permanent easement (Deed of Grant) in exchange for compensation.

Since our inception, we have built up a comprehensive database of information that is proving extremely beneficial in our pursuit of claiming compensation and settling claims, and any additional information can only help our clients? cause.

We would be grateful to hear from any of your members/contacts with any information regarding power lines, electricity companies and obviously injurious affection claims.

Our website is presently being updated but can be accessed via http://www.propertycompensation.com 

If anybody would wish to speak to me personally, I am more than happy to be contacted, and would also be prepared to travel to see anybody in person. As stated earlier, PCC has clients throughout the UK.

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APPENDIX 6 Ofgem Transmission Charges

R/ 12 February 25 2005

OFGEM APPROVES NEW CHARGES FOR HIGH-VOLTAGE NETWORK

- Transmission charging regime for new GB electricity wholesale market agreed, with conditions - NGC must review aspects of the charging regime again over the first two years of operation - New British electricity market means stronger competition to benefit all customers, particularly those in Scotland - Figures show that Scottish renewables are viable under new charging arrangements

New charging arrangements paid by generators and customers to meet the 1.7 billion cost of running Britain's high-voltage transmission network were approved today (Friday) by energy regulator Ofgem.

The GB transmission network is the basis of the new British electricity market that is due to begin in April 2005.

Ofgem's approval will require the National Grid Company (NGC) - which runs the network and applies the charges - to monitor and review certain aspects of the charging regime over its first two years of operation and to propose refinements where necessary.

The new charging arrangements have been of particular interest because of their impact on Scottish customers and generators. Ofgem's decision means that:

for Scottish domestic and business customers, the cost of transmission is set to fall - the impact on customer bills has already been seen in the north of Scotland, and

for Scottish generators and renewables, the overall cost of transmission will stay at the same level as now, while for some generators costs may even fall.

Chairman, Sir John Mogg, said: "NGC's revised proposals have provided a good basis for this new set of transmission charges and meet the necessary legal and statutory requirements. Further improvements will need to be investigated and, as part of our approval, Ofgem's Authority has required NGC to address them.

"Much of what has been said about the impact of the new charges in Scotland has been misleading and alarmist. But the facts are that they are good news for Scottish customers on whom the costs of transmission fall. Scottish generators and renewable developers will also benefit from easy access to the whole British market, which is essential if the planned doubling of Scotland's generation capacity is to go ahead.

"The overall cost of transporting electricity will be unchanged, indeed, for some, it will fall. Given the financial support renewables already receive, we cannot see that the new charges will inhibit the development of Scottish renewables, as some have claimed."

ends

Notes to Editors

1. Transmission charges account on average for 3 per cent of a domestic customer's bill, ranging from 0 per cent in Scotland to 7 per cent in the South West of England. Transmission charges account for 5-10 per cent of electricity bills for businesses customers. Larger customers can reduce their transmission charges by cutting their demand at peak periods.

2. Impact on customers:

The costs of supplying customers in Scotland will go down. Scottish Hydro is already offering lower prices to customers in Northern Scotland having anticipated lower transmission charges.

The impact of the new arrangements in England and Wales will vary, with London largely unaffected by the new charges and the South West, the area most affected by the change, seeing a one per cent increase in the cost of supplying a customer.

3. Impact on generators.

Similar charges for electricity generators in England and Wales have been in place since 1993 so the new charges will have the biggest impact on Scottish generation.

Benefits for Scottish generators include:

easy access to the large markets in England and Wales. This is vital in Scotland where there is already surplus capacity, and plans to more than double the amount of generation.

For example - A new wind generator on the Isle of Skye would pay 38 per kilowatt under the old arrangements to sell its power into England and Wales. The charge under the new arrangements will be around 23 per kilowatt.

The overall effect of the new charging regime is broadly neutral for Scottish generation as a whole.

Charges will be highest in remote parts of northern Scotland, but Windfarms will still be viable given the support they enjoy from the Government's Renewables Obligation.

For example - The highest charge under the new regime will be around 9 per megawatt hour of electricity generated for a windfarm. At current prices, renewable generators would receive about 70-80 per MWh for the electricity - this consists of about 40-50 per MWh from the Renewables Obligation mechanism and about 30 per MWh for the electricity from the market.

4. Ofgem is the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets, which supports the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority, the regulator of the gas and electricity industries in Great Britain. Ofgem's aim is to bring choice and value to all gas and electricity customers by promoting competition and regulating monopolies. The Authority's powers are provided for under the Gas Act 1986, the Electricity Act 1989 and the Utilities Act 2000.

For further press information contact:

Mark Wiltsher 020 7901 7006 Richard Hunt 020 7901 7006

Chris Lock on 020 7901 7225 Out of hours: 07774 728971

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