The UK Government must recognise the vital importance of island renewables to the
UK energy market, Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said today ahead of
talks with his UK counterpart in Stornoway.
Mr Wheelhouse and UK Energy Secretary, Greg Clark, will co-chair the fifth meeting
of the Scottish Islands Renewables Delivery Forum.
Discussions will focus on the UK Government’s recent consultation which back-tracked
on support for wind projects on the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland. The development
of proposed major projects alone would trigger initial investment of £2.5 billion
said the Scottish Government.
Mr Wheelhouse said: “The planned projects on the Western and Shetland Isles would
face extremely high locational transmission charges to provide electricity to the
“That is why an appropriate support mechanism is so important to help unlock very
significant capital investment from the private sector and community-owned developers
as well as, in turn, underpinning the investment case to National Grid for vital
islands grid connections. Bringing this positive scenario about, as quickly as possible,
will be at the heart of my discussions with Mr Clark.
Isles’ MP Angus Macneil, who is also taking part in the discussions, said: “If Scotland
was ruled by another country out wind resource would be recognised and seized upon.
But we are ruled by London where austerity has been the modus operandi for a number
of years which has led to a very slow recovery compared to Iceland and Ireland.”
The UK government “thinks of investment being a cost rather than an earning for the
Mr Macneil added: “I’ve known Greg Clark for a number of years and he definitely
But “there is a tension between his understanding and the constraints of austerity
chosen by the UK government.”"
“I can only hope Greg Clark will win out and we will see the islands being included
in the contract for different subsidy round to allow development of our huge wind