UK Government ‘indecision risks £1.3bn of Scottish Islands’ green funding’

At least £1.3 billion of investment in renewable projects in the Scottish Islands is at risk due to the UK Government’s “indecision”. That’s the view of ministers and leaders of […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

At least £1.3 billion of investment in renewable projects in the Scottish Islands is at risk due to the UK Government’s “indecision”.

That’s the view of ministers and leaders of three Scottish Island Councils – Orkney, Shetland and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar – who have written to Business, Energy and Industrial Secretary Greg Clark.

They have expressed their concerns about the effects of continued uncertainty on support for large-scale green energy projects in those regions.

The ministers believe delays in announcing which technologies will be supported in the next round of auctions are putting existing investments in clean projects at risk.

They add Scotland’s island economies could benefits from up to £725 million in the next 25 years from renewable projects.

Deputy First Minister of Scotland John Swinney said: “In the wake of the EU referendum, the UK can ill afford to miss the opportunity to unlock £1.3 billion 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.”

ELN has contacted BEIS for a comment.

Renewables will be part of the discussions at the Energy Live 2016 conference in London on Thursday. Join in the debate using #EL2016.