Dis­ap­point­ment over en­ergy de­lay

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

MSPS and com­mu­nity mem­bers in the Outer He­brides have ex­pressed their ‘ut­ter dis­ap­point­ment’ over the UK govern­ment’s de­ci­sion to de­lay sup­port for re­new­able en­ergy.

The govern­ment has launched a fur­ther 12-week con­sul­ta­tion on re­mote is­lands’ ac­cess to Con­tracts for Dif­fer­ence (CfD) but pub­lished de­tailed bud­gets for the next auc­tion round cov­er­ing off­shore wind, wave and ti­dal on the UK main­land.

An­gus Camp­bell from the Outer He­brides Com­mu­nity Plan­ning Part­ner­ship (OHCPP) said: ‘It is ironic that the day af­ter a two- day sem­i­nar on de­pop­u­la­tion and mi­gra­tion af­fect­ing the Outer He­brides that we get an an­nounce­ment from the UK Govern­ment that the is­lands will not be in­cluded in the next round of CfD which is re­quired to make is­land wind-farm projects vi­able. It is fully ac­cepted re­new­able en­ergy of­fers an un­prece­dented op­por­tu­nity to trans­form the eco­nomic for­tunes of the is­lands by bring­ing in­vest­ment and cre­at­ing jobs and train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. To make that hap­pen we need Govern­ment to set the right con­di­tions and this lat­est an­nounce­ment is ex­tremely dis­ap­point­ing.’

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alas­dair Al­lan agreed say­ing the de­ci­sion ‘kicks far into the long grass’ the prospects for de­vel­op­ing the is­lands’ en­ergy po­ten­tial.

He added: ‘We have waited years for an an­swer about what level of sup­port will be of­fered to is­land wind power. Now it looks like we could have to wait an­other two years for an an­swer to that ques­tion. I will be meet­ing up with the Comhairle about this in the com­ing days, and will also be seek­ing a meet­ing with Scot­tish min­is­ters so that this is­sue can again be raised with the West­min­ster Govern­ment.’

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