The Scottish Ministers are responsible for determining applications for consent under sections 36, 36C and 37 of the Electricity Act 1989 ("the Electricity Act"). These applications are for onshore generating stations with an installed capacity exceeding 50 megawatts ("MW") and overhead power lines in Scotland. Such applications are processed on behalf of Scottish Ministers by the Energy Consents Unit ("ECU"). The Scottish Ministers are also responsible for determining applications for consent for generating stations with an installed capacity exceeding 1 MW in Scottish Territorial waters and over 50 MW in the Scottish Renewable Energy Zone ("REZ"). These applications are processed on behalf of Scottish Ministers by Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team ("MS-LOT").
The current fee tariff and structure for these applications under the Electricity Act came into force on 30 June 2019 through the introduction of the Electricity (Applications for Consent and Variation of Consent) (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 ("Fees Regulations 2019").
We are reviewing application fees due to a shortfall between the cost of running the ECU and MS-LOT and the income from application fees. It is also anticipated that a significant number of new applications are to be submitted in the next one to three years and we wish to ensure the service is fully resourced.
The Scottish Government consulted on proposed revisions to fees for processing applications under the Electricity Act. A written consultation paper was published on 30 March 2022 and the period for written responses closed on 23 June 2022. A total of 25 consultation responses were received and analysed.
This document sets out the Scottish Government's response to the consultation and details the conclusions Ministers have reached and the changes which will be implemented. We have carefully considered all comments received throughout the consultation process. An analysis of these comments has been carried out, which is published in a separate document entitled "Fees Charged for Applications under the Electricity Act – Analysis of Consultation Responses" (subsequently referred to as the "analysis report"). The analysis report should be read alongside this document.
We are respecting the aims of the Scottish Public Finance Manual on charges for public services, making sure we are adequately resourced to deliver an appropriate level of service that contributes to the delivery of the Energy Strategy. The Scottish Government's conclusions on changes to be implemented can be summarised as follows:
- fees shall be revised as proposed by the consultation
- the revised fees will be implemented by amendment of the Electricity (Applications for Consent and Variation of Consent) (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2019. This would be subject to a negative procedure in the Scottish Parliament. Ministers aim to implement the revised fees from mid December 2022
- monitoring - following the implementation of the revised fee levels the Scottish Government shall monitor the effects of the changes.
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