Min­is­ter con­firms visit to Isles

The Oban Times - - Districts -

WESTERN Isles MP An­gus MacNeil met Sec­re­tary of State for Busi­ness, En­ergy and In­dus­trial Strat­egy (BEIS) Greg Clark last week to press the case for vi­tal UK gov­ern­ment sup­port for is­land re­new­ables.

At the meet­ing in West­min­ster, Mr MacNeil dis­cussed the spe­cific chal­lenges fac­ing is­land re­new­ables with Mr Clark and par­lia­men­tary un­der-sec­re­tary for BEIS Jesse Nor­man.

He also gave his in­put to the con­sul­ta­tion on fu­ture UK gov­ern­ment sup­port for re­mote is­land wind projects.

Mr MacNeil said: ‘It was a pro­duc­tive and in­ter­est­ing ex­ploratory meet­ing. Both Greg Clark and Jesse Nor­man showed in­ter­est in as­pects of re­new­ables in the is­lands, par­tic­u­larly with Mr Clark plan­ning a visit in late Fe­bru­ary or early March to dis­cuss the way for­ward and pos­si­bil­i­ties.

‘Ob­vi­ously with the con­sul­ta­tion on­go­ing the min­is­ters have to re­main tight-lipped at the mo­ment and it is dif­fi­cult to say what the out­come will be, but with the sec­re­tary of state plan­ning to visit the is­lands, it will at least give in­ter­ested par­ties an op­por­tu­nity to state their case.’

Mr MacNeil and Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alas­dair Al­lan dis­cussed the sit­u­a­tion with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from is­land com­mu­nity en­ergy groups on Mon­day ahead of the West­min­ster meet­ing.

The UK gov­ern­ment’s con­sul­ta­tion on whether re­mote is­land wind projects should be sub­sidised in fu­ture is open for sub­mis­sions un­til Jan­uary 31.

The UK gov­ern­ment has al­ready de­cided to end on­shore wind sub­si­dies but is con­sid­er­ing whether re­mote is­land projects should be treated dif­fer­ently.

An­gus MacNeil.

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