We are one step closer to unlocking the huge renewable energy potential of the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland Islands, as a new report identifies a series of actions to help deliver necessary electricity grid connections. It is part of on-going collaborative efforts to support the development of renewable energy projects on the three Scottish island groups and deliver jobs, investment and wider community benefits.
The UK Government’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, said:
“This report will play an important part in the next stage of our partnership work for renewable energy from the Scottish islands. We have already made more progress in the last year than for many years, after the UK Government announced last December additional support for onshore wind projects, with a special higher Scottish Islands strike price. While that initiative itself should unlock much potential green energy, I’m determined to tackle remaining issues despite the complexity involved.”
The report’s key findings, which will be considered by the inter-governmental Scottish Islands Renewables Group, include issues relating to:
- certainty for developers around the longevity of the support that underpin the business cases for grid developments
- stability of grid charges
- loan guarantees
- research funding support for grid connections for marine technologies
- continuation of Government input to oversee co-ordination and delivery of support provisions
The Scottish and UK Governments recognise the significant contribution that renewable energy generation on the Scottish islands could make to both Scotland’s and the United Kingdom’s 2020 renewable energy targets and the governments’ longer-term climate change ambitions.
The report, prepared by independent consultants Xero Energy, was commissioned jointly by the two governments.
Notes to Editors
- The inter-governmental Scottish Islands Renewables Group consists of DECC, Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the three islands councils: Orkney, Shetland and Eilean Siar, National Grid (as GB electricity system operator), Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Ltd (SHE-T) as the local transmission operator and Ofgem (in an observer role).
- The Xero Energy Report