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Scottish islands clarity call

Holyrood says UK ‘indecision’ putting renewables projects at risk

Scottish islands clarity call image

Indecision by the UK government over major funding for renewable energy is putting at risk at least £1.3bn of investment in projects on Scotland’s islands, according to Scottish government ministers.

Ministers and council leaders from Orkney, Shetland and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have written to Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark expressing their concerns.

The Scottish government said delays in announcing which renewables technologies will be supported in the next round of auctions are putting at risk existing investments.

Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary For Education and Skills John Swinney said: “In the wake of the EU referendum, the UK can ill afford to miss the opportunity to unlock £1.3bn of investments offered by the shovel ready anchor projects on the Western Isles and Shetland and the associated benefits for the UK-wide supply chain.

“We urge that this period of uncertainty is brought to a swift conclusion and that the strong economic case for Remote Island Wind, developed in partnership between the UK government and the wider Scottish Islands Delivery Forum membership, is duly acknowledged in a decision that allows island projects to compete in the next allocation round.

“We would urge the new Secretary of State to take immediate action to ensure that the UK government re-engages with this process and delivers on the commitments to harness the renewables potential of the islands.”

Image: Orkney Isles (Heriot)

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