THE two remaining candidates to become the next prime minister have been urged to fix the “rip-off” charges being foisted on Scotland’s renewables sector.

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have been asked to explain their positions on the “extortionate” fees levied on Scottish energy firms, while some English firms are subsidised.

For a Scots energy company to connect to the grid it will cost £7.36 per megawatt-hour (MWh) in the north of Scotland and £4.70 per MWh in the south of Scotland transmission area.

The SNP said this is the highest charge in Europe, adding that “independent countries of a similar size to Scotland [are] charged a fraction of that or nothing at all”.

The party said the charges were “pushing prices up for consumers during the worst cost of living crisis in living memory”.

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Connecting to the grid in England and Wales generally costs a fraction of the Scottish charge at just £0.49 per MWh. In southern England, generators are actually paid to connect to the grid.

Energy regulator Ofgem has said it will improve connections to facilitate the transmission of more renewable electricity from Scotland to areas of high demand in England.

SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire East Gillian Martin (below) said Westminster was treating Scotland as a “cash cow”.

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She said: “Scotland is being held back as a direct result of Westminster control. There is no better demonstration of that than the extortionate charges energy companies are facing to access the National Grid to export their products.

“Scotland is awash with energy resources and is set to be a powerhouse for renewables, but we are being continually held back by Westminster treating Scotland as its cash cow.

“Independent countries of a similar size to Scotland charge next to nothing for access to their grids, meaning consumers in Scotland are facing the brunt of extra charges when their bills land on their doorstep.

“During the worst cost of living crisis in recent memory the candidates for prime minister should be considering all options to reduce bills for households across the country and fixing the rip-off grid charges is just one measure that can help reduce energy bills.

“This is another demonstration of how Westminster control is holding back Scotland and the only way we can unleash our full potential is with independence.”

The methodology for the transmission charges was devised for England and Wales in 1992 following the privatisation of the National Grid, and extended to Scotland in 2005.

The charges were designed to encourage generators to build close to consumers, meaning renewable projects like Scotland’s offshore windfarms will have to pay more to connect their energy to the grid.

Figures provided from the House of Commons library in 2021 showed that the electricity network in Scotland accounts for almost 52% of the total network in Great Britain with 9300 kilometres in Scotland and 8700km in England and Wales.

Sunak has publicly ruled out allowing any more onshore windfarms to be built should he win the race to No 10.

Both the Sunak and Truss campaigns were contacted for comment.