The UK Government is being urged to fulfil its commitment to ‘enable the deployment of renewable energy on the Scottish Islands.’
The Energy Minister Fergus Ewing, has written to the Secretary of State for Energy, Amber Rudd, ahead of the next Scottish Islands Delivery Forum which will meet in Glasgow on 21st September. Ms Rudd had previously agreed to co-chair the meeting.
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 by July 2015 – which has now been delayed until sometime in the autumn of this year.
Mr Ewing has urged Ms Rudd to provide more clarity on this issue which is seen as critical to the development before the next meeting.
Mr Ewing said: “I am delighted that the new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has agreed to continue the work of her predecessor by co-chairing the next meeting of the Scottish Islands Delivery Forum, and has indicated an intention to pursue the necessary support mechanism for remote island wind. This personal commitment is hugely appreciated but of course it must be translated into action.
“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.
“I am thoroughly concerned by the delay to the publication of vital information until ‘the Autumn.’ Any such delay has the potential to result in the necessary grid updates not going ahead. I ask that the UK Government provides certainty on its support for island developers no later than the next forum meeting.”