The future of Scotland’s island wind farms in Government hands

The UK Government will decide whether or not to subsidise wind farms in the Scottish Western and Northern Isles.

The Conservative 2015 election manifesto vowed to end support for onshore wind farms, and since have reaffirmed plans to spend £730m on alternative forms of renewable energy.

There will be a consultation to find out if island wind developments should be treated differently to those on the mainland.

UK business and energy secretary, Greg Clark said, “We are sending a clear signal that Britain is one of the best places in the world to invest in clean, flexible, energy – as we continue to upgrade our energy infrastructure. This is a key part of our upcoming Industrial Strategy, which will provide companies with the further support they need to innovate as we build a diverse energy system fit for the 21st century that is reliable, while keeping bills down for our families and businesses.”

whiteleewindfarm

Whitelee wind farm near Glasgow

Scottish Renewables chief executive Niall Stuart said, “The wave and tidal sectors are still at an incredibly early stage in their development, and simply not ready to compete with offshore wind on cost alone.

“If we want to continue the development of the UK’s world-leading wave and tidal sectors, then we now need government to look at how it will support the development and roll-out of the technology to get it to the stage where it can compete in the future.”

The renewable energy company said island communities would be left “bitterly disappointed” by the low level of support announced by the government.

Despite challenges from anti-wind campaigners, Shetland Island will see developments of the 460MW Viking Wind Farm. The project was reaffirmed in February 2015. Other island developments are also currently in place.

 

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