Disappointment over energy delay
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.’