UK gov to act in favour of Scottish islands’ renewables

The UK government is being urged to fulfill its commitment to ‘enable the deployment of renewable energy on the Scottish Islands.’

Fergus Ewing, Scottish Energy Minister, has written to the Secretary of State for Energy, Amber Rudd, ahead of the Scottish Islands Delivery Forum which will meet in Glasgow on September 21.

Rudd had previously agreed to co-chair the meeting.

According to the Scottish government, in January this year the Prime Minister committed to the deployment of renewable energy on Scottish Islands.

To assist with this, the former Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, pledged to publish information about Remote Island Wind Contract for Difference (CfD) by July 2015 – which has now been delayed until sometime in the autumn of this year, Scottish government’s press release reads.

Ewing has urged Rudd to provide more clarity on this issue which is seen as critical to the development before the next meeting.

He said that the personal commitment shown by Rudd by agreeing to co-chair the meeting is ‘hugely appreciated’ but it must be translated into action.

Ewing added: “This assurance is a very important statement of continued intent – delivering island renewables and grid connections could have a transformational economic impact for island communities.

“The Scottish islands are arguably the best places in Europe to deliver renewable energy. The wind speeds are the strongest and they have the best potential for wave and tidal energy in the future.

“Also the levels of fuel poverty in the islands are the highest anywhere so let us deliver the unleashed potential of island renewables to provide the huge quantities of electricity but also the enormous benefits to the people on the island which will help combat the problems of fuel poverty and rural deprivation. These are the reasons why this is close to my heart and a top priority for me as Scotland’s Energy Minister.”

The Energy Minister also raised concerns regarding the delay in the publication of CfD information, and urged the UK government to provide certainty on its support for island developers ‘no later than the next forum meeting’.

Image: EMEC/Illustration