Island energy announcement a ‘victory for Scotland’ say local politicians

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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.

However, 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.

An islands’ strike price is a major step forward in ensuring that the huge renewable energy resources of Scotland’s islands can be realised.  Scottish ministers believe it will help bring much needed electricity to the grid and jobs and benefits to island communities.

This electricity is also increasingly important to the GB energy system given new Ofgem warnings about a tightening margin between electricity demand and supply.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan said:

“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 added:

“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.”