Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan yesterday met with Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, and Comhairle Leader Angus Campbell in the Scottish Parliament to discuss the UK’s Government decision to exclude “Remote Island Wind” from its immediate plans on renewable energy.

The next “Contracts for Difference” auction is potentially a vital source of support for low-carbon electricity projects in the islands. However, the UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark MP, announced earlier this month that the UK Government has instead opened yet another consultation on whether onshore wind projects on remote islands should be treated differently from onshore wind projects.

Alasdair Allan commented:

“This was a good opportunity to discuss the frustration shared by all of us over the UK Government’s dismal treatment of the islands’ wind potential.

“I was utterly disappointed when the Secretary of State for Energy announced his decision a few weeks ago to renege on previous commitments the UK Government had given to the islands. The Western Isles have the potential to be the renewable-sector powerhouse for the entire country, helping us to meet our climate change obligations and removing the need for much more dirty and expensive sources of power. However, to do that we need the necessary infrastructure in place.

“There are hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment waiting to be unlocked from renewables projects across the isles. However, the UK Government appears to be ignoring all the evidence put to them on this subject just now by the Scottish Government and many others.

“There are upcoming debates in Holyrood over the next few weeks, on the islands and on renewable energy, which the Scottish Government will use to keep this issue in the public eye.”

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