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Hebrides News


A crunch decision over the future of the Western Isles renewable energy industry may be stalled due to the snap general election.


Prospects of a  multi-million pound economic boost are doomed unless the UK Government changes its mind on scrapping subsidies to island wind farms - stemming from a Tory 2015 election pledge.


None of the three large wind farms planned for Lewis nor clusters of community owned turbines will go ahead without financial support to compensate for the high cost - up to seven times higher than from the Highlands - of exporting island generated electricity to the energy hungry southern markets


The snap election announcement comes as energy secretary Greg Clark is consulting on making a special case for the Western Isles.


However, reaffirming the onshore turbine ban in a refreshed manifesto for the June poll while simultaneously announcing an proposed exception for the Hebrides may be too bold a step for the politician.


Isles  MP Angus Brendan MacNeil has written Mr Clark for an urgent update.


Mr MacNeil said: “I am concerned that this snap general election on 8 June will further delay progress.


“Many years have been spent on trying to move forward on island renewables and I have written to Mr Clark to ask him what the implications of the forthcoming general election will have on island renewables.”


General election sparks uncertainty for island renewables

20 April 2017