Date lodged: 19 May 2016
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S4W-30367 by Fergus Ewing on 17 March 2016, whether it will publish the details of discussions that it has had with the UK Government regarding (a) maintaining the Hydro Benefit Replacement Scheme and (b) introducing a UK-wide cost recovery mechanism for Shetland’s distribution network.
Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 6 June 2016
While the Scottish Government believes all decisions on Scotland's energy sector should be determined by Scottish Ministers and accountable to the Scottish Parliament, it is currently the case that these matters are reserved. The Hydro Benefit Replacement Scheme and cost recovery mechanism for Shetland’s new energy solution are policies of the UK Government and the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change leads government consultations on those matters.
However, the Scottish Government seeks to influence decisions of UK Ministers to deliver optimum benefits for Scotland and Scottish Ministers therefore have regular discussions with a range of stakeholders concerning all matters that affect energy costs and fuel poverty issues, including from time to time issues surrounding network charging and this informs our approach to discussion with UK Ministers on Scotland's behalf. For example, ministers met with members of the Convention of the Highlands and Islands on 7 March 2015, to hear members' views, and as an action arising from that meeting Ofgem and National Grid will be invited to brief members of the convention on network charging issues at the convention's next meeting in the autumn 2016.