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Tories back Scottish island wind

UPDATE: Industry reacts to general election manifesto

Tories back Scottish island wind image

The Conservative Party has backed support for so called remote islands Scottish wind in its general election manifesto.

The document said the Tories would “support the development of wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland, where they will directly benefit local communities" if successful in the 8 June poll.

The UK government carried out a consultation on potential CfD supports for non-mainland wind earlier this year.

The manifesto made no reference to Scottish mainland onshore wind but it appeared to rule out support for the technology in England.

“We do not believe that more large-scale onshore wind power is right for England,” it said.

The document also made no reference to the Tories' 2015 manifesto moratorium on onshore wind price support.

ScottishPower chief corporate officer Keith Anderson said: “Low cost onshore wind has a lot more to offer the UK, and we are hopeful that the Conservative manifesto means that a new generation of onshore projects will be possible across Scotland.

"There are many good projects in the pipeline and a skilled local workforce who can deliver them.”

The manifesto also said the Tories would “maintain our position as a global leader in offshore wind.”

The Tories pledged to commission an independent review into the Cost of Energy to make recommendations to keep UK energy costs low as possible while ensuring supplies and meeting 2050 carbon reduction objectives.

"We will form our energy policy based not on the way energy is generated but on the ends we desire – reliable and affordable energy, seizing the industrial opportunity that new technology presents and meeting our global commitments on climate change," it added.

Hopes for Tidal Lagoon Power’s Swansea Bay tidal lagoon appeared to take a blow with no manifesto commitment for the 320MW project.

The manifesto does however pledge to "explore ways to harness Welsh natural resources for the generation of power."

Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven dubbed the manifesto "encouraging".

"The 2015 manifesto's draconian ban on onshore wind has been softened, opening the door for developing the cheapest of all energy sources in Scotland," he added.

"Along with the promise to retain Britain's leadership on offshore wind, this will provide a huge boost for jobs in the regions, an abundant supply of clean power, and expertise that Britain can export. 

RenewableUK chief executive Hugh McNeal added: "We’ve long made the case for remote Scottish islands onshore wind projects so we’re especially pleased to see the Conservative and Unionist Party supporting the development of these projects.

"This is a good example of the right development in the right place: onshore wind going forward in parts of the UK where it is wanted and welcomed."

Image: Big Ben (FreeImages)

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