Two of the UK’s largest energy trade associations – as well as the head of Scottish Power – last night welcomed a commitment in the Tory party’s election manifesto which appears to pledge UK government support for more onshore wind power projects in what the London-based party calls Scotland’s ‘remote islands’
In its manifesto, the Conservative party pledges itself ‘against more large-scale onshore wind power for England – while maintaining its position as a ‘global leader in offshore wind and development of wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland – where they directly benefit local communities’.
Keith Anderson, Chief Corporate Officer at Scottish Power, commented: “Low cost onshore wind has a lot more to offer the UK, and we are hopeful that the Conservative manifesto means that a new generation of onshore projects will be possible across Scotland.
“There are many good projects in the pipeline and a skilled local workforce who can deliver them.”
Hugh McNeal, Chief Executive of Renewable UK, added: “We’ve long made the case for remote Scottish island onshore wind projects, so we’re especially pleased to see the Conservative and Unionist Party supporting the development of these projects.
“This is a good example of the right development in the right place: onshore wind going forward in parts of the UK where it is wanted and welcomed.”
For Energy UK – the industry body for energy providers – Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive, added:
“It is encouraging to see opportunities for onshore wind development in Scotland, but we would like this to go wider and further.
“The energy sector now needs long-term policy stability in order to plan for the future, secure investment and to maintain a path towards a low-carbon economy.
“Meanwhile, the energy industry stands ready to work with the next government to help deliver an energy system that works for everyone.
“Targeting support for vulnerable customers and making sure the market works fairly for everyone are the right priorities, and the industry is absolutely committed to working with government and the regulator to achieve this.
“Smart meter rollout and making switching easier are core to improving the market, but must be done efficiently. We strongly believe that competition and choice is the best way to deliver a better deal for customers.
“It is essential that any price cap is carefully designed in partnership with industry and consumer groups to protect consumers.
“The planned review of energy costs must be done in the fastest possible way to provide policy clarity to the investment community. It should facilitate an honest debate around the costs of decarbonisation, tackling fuel poverty, how to target support for the vulnerable and deliver security of supply – and how these are to be paid for.”
Meanwhile, the Renewable Energy Association – which is the industry’s biggest – welcomed the Tory pledges to ‘low cost and low-carbon energy’.
Chief Executive, Dr. Nina Skorupska (CBE) said: “The manifesto is a solid building block for the transition to a lower-cost, lower-carbon future. Our members will be pleased with the renewed commitment to the 2050 carbon targets and the transposition of existing EU law into the UK, as well as a commitment to leading the world in low-carbon transport.
“The next parliament will bring us to 2022, and during that time energy markets will change almost unrecognisably. The UK can reap the benefits and be at the forefront of the cutting-edge technologies in this global energy revolution. It will lead to a cheap, clean and smart energy mix. If Britain is going to continue to lead the world, however, it needs clear leadership at a national level to avoid falling behind our competitors.”