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Island wind energy projects included in £527m scheme

Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles can now apply for contracts for difference.

Wind power: Major boost for island renewables (file pic).
Wind power: Major boost for island renewables (file pic). PA

Wind energy projects in Scotland's islands will be included in a £527m renewables scheme for the first time.

Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles had been barred from the UK Government's contracts for difference auctions.

They involve energy producers competing to secure a minimum price guarantee by offering the lowest price possible.

Island wave and tidal power projects will continue to be excluded from the next auction, which will next be held in spring 2019.

UK energy minister Richard Harrington said: "The UK Government's Clean Growth Strategy has set out how the whole of the UK can benefit from the global move to a low carbon economy.

"Scotland already has a strong record in exploiting the potential of clean growth, with more than half of Scottish electricity consumption coming from renewable sources.

"We want to go further creating thousands of good jobs and attracting billions of pounds worth of investment."

https://stv.tv/news/scotland/1399283-wind-power-generated-double-scotland-s-electricity-needs/ | default

He added: "That's why we are ensuring that remote island wind projects in Scotland, which have the potential to benefit the island communities directly, have access to the same funding opportunities as offshore wind in the next renewables auction round."

Island wind farms could supply around 3% of the UK's energy needs, it is believed.

Earlier this week Nicola Sturgeon announces plans to set up a publicly owned energy company in Scotland by 2021.

The First Minister said the company will sell renewable energy to customers "as close to cost price as possible".

'I am very pleased that projects in the islands will have access to the same funding opportunities as offshore wind.'
Orkney Islands Council leader James Stockan

The UK Government's announcement has been welcomed by Scotland's island councils.

Orkney Islands Council leader James Stockan said: "I am very pleased that projects in the islands will have access to the same funding opportunities as offshore wind in the next auction round.

"It is disappointing that wave and tidal projects are not included and we will continue to put the case for the funding support that will benefit the further development of the marine renewables sector."

Western Isles Council leader Roddie Mackay added: "This is very good news for the Islands and the development of the renewables industry. 

"The council has been campaigning for this for a number of years and this is another step forward in enabling the Islands to become a major secure supplier of clean, green energy for the UK."

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