Calls to fulfil renewable energy promises for the Scottish Islands
The Scottish Energy Minister has called on the UK Government to keep its commitment to deploy renewable energy on the Scottish Islands.
Fergus Ewing has written to his Whitehall counterpart, Amber Rudd, ahead of the next Scottish Islands Delivery Forum, which will meet in Glasgow on 21 September.
Ms Rudd had previously agreed to co-chair the meeting.
In January this year the Prime Minister committed to the deployment of renewable energy on Scottish Islands.
To assist with this the former Energy Secretary Ed Davey pledged to publishinformation about Remote Island Wind Contract for Difference by July 2015, but this information has now been delayed until the autumn.
“I am delighted that the new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has agreed to continue the work of her predecessor by co-chairing the next meeting of the Scottish Islands Delivery Forum, and has indicated an intention to pursue the necessary support mechanism for remote island wind,” said Mr Ewing.
“This personal commitment is hugely appreciated, but of course it must be translated into action,” he added.
“This assurance is a very important statement of continued intent - delivering island renewables and grid connections could have a transformational economic impact for island communities. The Scottish islands 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.
"Also the levels of fuel poverty in the islands are the highest anywhere so let us deliver the unleashed potential of island renewables to provide the huge quantities of electricity but also the enormous benefits to the people on the island which will help combat the problems of fuel poverty and rural deprivation. These are the reasons why this is close to my heart and a top priority for me as Scotland’s Energy Minister.”
Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues