Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing and the UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey yesterday co-chaired Scottish Island Renewables Delivery Forum.
The Forum marks a significant shift in focus from the establishment of policy proposals to the delivery of tangible results for the islands.
Key decision-makers from industry and the public sector met in Glasgow to agree a timetable of practical actions to connect the Scottish Islands to the mainland transmission grid and unlock their huge potential to generate clean energy.
Mr Ewing said:
“Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles can make a very substantial and cost-effective contribution to meeting the UK’s legally-binding renewable energy targets, and help safeguard our energy security. These issues cut to the very heart of the current energy debate and make the case for the development of renewable energy on the Scottish islands so compelling.
“The clear imperative is to put in place an action plan to enable delivery of grid connections and successful renewables projects on the islands – that was the objective of our meeting.”
Generally the SNP has welcomed the progress that has been made after a key meeting on delivering grid connections to Scotland’s islands as an important milestone.
Commenting, SNP MSP Mike MacKenzie said:
“The Scottish Government has been fighting hard for progress on an interconnector to link the islands to the mainland grid and I am delighted that this extensive campaigning has helped to secure progress.
“Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles are home to vast energy potential, but in order to secure the jobs and investment that come with these resources, they need to be able to transmit their energy to the rest of Scotland and beyond.
“With renewable energy generation reaching record levels in figures published yesterday, it is more important than ever that Scotland’s islands are able to fully play their part in reaping the benefits of our growing green energy sector.
“The events represent a positive step forward for Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles and I am optimistic that we will see further progress soon.”
Pictured MSP Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism