The UK government has opened a consultation on proposals to allow remote island wind projects to apply for a Contract for Difference (CfD) in the next auction for less established renewable technologies in 2019.

The consultation sets out proposed definitions for remote island wind and also includes an impact assessment.

It also seeks views on how island communities – such as the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland – will benefit from wind projects.

More than 750MW of wind projects with planning consent on these islands could be eligible for the next auction, the government said.

UK government Minister for Scotland Lord Duncan said: “Wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland have the potential to generate substantial amounts of electricity and cut emissions, supporting economic growth and delivering lasting benefits for communities.

“Enabling these projects to compete in future auctions will reinforce the UK’s position as a world leader in renewable generation, as well as providing Scottish jobs in any projects supported.”

Trade body RenewableUK welcomed the plans to include remote island wind in the next CfD round, but called for all renewable technologies to be included.

R-UK executive director Emma Pinchbeck said: “As this consultation into island wind shows, it is possible to make evidence-based changes to policy when the need arises.

“Government should allow all technologies the chance to compete, and make 2018 the start of a new golden age for British renewables.”

The consultation also asks for views on other changes the government is considering making to the CfD scheme.

These changes include proposals to increase the efficiency requirements for combined heat and power and advanced conversion technologies as technology improves. 

Image: Orkney (Heriot Watt University)