Scottish ministers express concern over UK renewables funding indecision

1 November 2016 (Last Updated November 1st, 2016 18:30)

Ministers of three Scottish Government island councils have expressed concerns over the UK Government's indecision on renewable project investments in Scotland.

Ministers of three Scottish Government island councils have expressed concerns over the UK Government's indecision on renewable project developments in Scotland.

In a letter written to the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark, leaders and ministers of three Scottish Island councils have expressed concerns about the effects of continued uncertainty on support for large-scale renewable energy projects on the Scottish Islands.

"We would urge the new Secretary of State to take immediate action to ensure that the UK Government re-engages with this process and delivers on the commitments to harness the renewables potential of the islands."

Scotland's deputy first minister and cabinet secretary for education and skills John Swinney said: “In the wake of the EU referendum, the UK can ill afford to miss the opportunity to unlock £1.3bn of investments offered by the shovel ready anchor projects on the Western Isles and Shetland and the associated benefits for the UK-wide supply chain.

“We urge that this period of uncertainty is brought to a swift conclusion and that the strong economic case for Remote Island Wind, developed in partnership between the UK Government and the wider Scottish Islands Delivery Forum membership, is duly acknowledged in a decision that allows island projects to compete in the next allocation round.

“We would urge the new Secretary of State to take immediate action to ensure that the UK Government re-engages with this process and delivers on the commitments to harness the renewables potential of the islands.”

The ministers suggested that the delay in announcing the technologies used for supporting renewable energy projects are putting existing investments at risk.

According to an independent report commissioned by the Scottish Government, it is anticipated that Scotland’s island economies could benefit from up to £725m over the next 25 years from renewables projects.