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Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has called for cross party support ahead of a Westminster debate on island renewables taking place today.

 

The UK government has abolished all subsidies for onshore wind farms but may make an exception for the Scottish islands.

 

If it doesn’t then the Western Isles stands to lose hundreds of millions of pounds if financial incentives for onshore turbines are refused.

 

Without the subsidies it seems highly likely developers will abandon plans for windfarms with the knock-on effect of scrapping the subsea cable proposal.

 

Without an interconnector to the mainland no turbine - either corporately or community owned would be built.

 

Donald Crichton, chairman of the sustainable development committee said it is important the government implements its manifesto commitment which indicated support for island wind schemes.

 

Mr Crichton said its been “hugely frustrating” that the islands have been unable to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the development of the sector.

 

The “clear commitment” signalled in the recent Conservative Party manifesto , opens the prospect for significant progress over the next year, he added.

 

 

 

Waiting to see which way the wind blows on Western Isles renewables debate  

4 July 2017