Minister confirms visit to Isles
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.