Scotland’s island economies could benefit from up to £725 million in the next 25 years if more green projects are implemented.
That’s because they have some of the best renewable sources such as wind, wave and tidal, according to a report from the Scottish Government.
Green projects could also stimulate local economies at a peak of up to £83 million a year, it added.
Revenues to community projects would total up to £390 million and create up to 2,000 new jobs.
The report stated Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland have the potential to supply up to 5% of total electricity demand in the UK market by 2030.
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “This report confirms the potential of the vast renewable resources of our islands. They 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.
“With high levels of fuel poverty in the islands it is necessary to deliver the unleashed potential of island renewables which will provide huge quantities of electricity but also provide enormous benefits to the people on the islands which could be used to help combat the problems of fuel poverty and rural deprivation.”
Mr Ewing also said he has written a letter to Energy Secretary Amber Rudd urging DECC “to progress the necessary EU permissions immediately and to bring forward a viable package of support in the coming weeks that supports the vital grid connections to the three island groups”.
He added: “The potential considerable economic and employment benefits from renewables means it is vital for the UK Government to deliver on their commitment to the islands.”