Islands energy announcement a ‘victory for Scotland’

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The announcement that there will be a specific ‘strike price’ for energy generated on islands has been hailed as a major victory for Scotland and the renewable energy sector.

The Westminster Government has today revealed the proposed long-term prices that energy producers can expect to receive for each type of energy source under the contracts for difference system that is being introduced to the UK’s energy market.

While Scotland’s islands are home to enormous amounts of potential renewable energy, producers face higher costs from harnessing these resources. Following intensive pressure from the Scottish Government and Scotland’s renewables sector, those cost pressures have been recognised with the confirmation that there will be a specific strike price for islands which will see energy producers there receive more than equivalent producers on the mainland. This electricity is increasingly important to the GB energy system given new Ofgem warnings about a tightening margin between electricity demand and supply.

Commenting, SNP MSP Mike MacKenzie who sits on the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee and raised the announcement today during First Minister’s Questions said:

“Today’s announcement is extremely positive one for Scotland’s islands and can only be regarded as an important victory for Scotland.

“There has been significant pressure that has been brought to bear on the Westminster Government over the months leading up to today’s announcement and I am delighted to see that this pressure has paid off.

“It is tremendous news for island communities across Scotland who can expect to be at the forefront of renewables development.

“After having faced uncertainty for so long over the shape of the energy market, renewable energy producers are at last getting some much needed clarity with which they can plan future investments in Scotland.”

Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan added:

“The First Minister, Fergus Ewing, Angus MacNeil and I, and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have all been pressing very hard for progress on the interconnector and fairer treatment of Scotland’s island communities when it comes to renewables.

“Today’s news is very positive in that the Westminster Government has accepted these arguments and seen the need for higher support for renewables in island areas. Now, we need to keep up the pressure to ensure that the interconnector gets built and facilitates the renewables industry that the islands deserve.”

SNP MP Angus MacNeil commented:

“This is a significant victory and a huge boost to residents of the Western Isles and islands across Scotland. Energy from the islands is increasingly important to the GB energy system given Ofgem’s warnings about tightening margins between supply and demand.

“With community support, island renewables will bring much needed jobs and investment to the islands and ensure that we share in the full economic benefits of Scotland’s ambitious renewable energy targets.”