Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has called on the UK Government to give developers urgent advice on the future of renewables in the islands.
Following on from last month’s Island Summit of key stakeholders in Stornoway, Ewing and island leaders met with Secretary of State for Energy Ed Davey and asked him to give prospective developers certainty on the level and availability of support– a key requirement for the development of vital network upgrades.
Speaking after the meeting in London, Mr Ewing said:
“I welcome the spirit of the meeting with Ed Davey and our shared commitment to tackling and removing any barriers to establishing island connections. The council leaders and I presented four key asks and were given constructive responses to each.
“Davey agreed to our proposal for a Delivery Forum to ensure the successful deployment of island renewable projects and to investigate what can be done to increase the certainty for developers.
“However I am conscious of the fact that it has taken ten years to get to this stage, island developers urgently need answers on the level and availability of support to developers on the islands.
“Island renewables present a massive opportunity for sustainable economic growth. If developers get this clarity they will be able to deliver up to five per cent of GB electricity demand by 2030 and help to create opportunities for a very large number of jobs across the Western Isles, Shetland and Orkney as well as enable communities to benefit financially and through lower fuel bills.
“It is vital that these ideas are progressed quickly. I look forward to continuing these discussions with Davey at the Delivery Forum in Scotland.”