News : Rhoda Grant calls for rethink on islands energy subsidies

14 November 2016 

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, who is Scottish Labour’s Rural Economy Spokesperson, has called on Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to look again at the decision not to include an island tariff in the next round of Contracts for Difference, a method of support to make island renewable energy projects viable. 

Mrs Grant has also asked Mr Clark what, in the meantime, government intends to do to deliver the interconnectors to the Northern and Western Isles and how these will be funded. 

Rhoda said, “We are concerned the government hasn’t created an islands contract in Contracts for Difference. 

“They must look again at this decision but in the meantime I’ve asked them to let me have their plans on how the Northern and Western Isles interconnectors will be funded in order to maximise renewable generation in our islands communities.” 

Mrs Grant continued : 

“The renewables potential of the Scottish islands has always been widely accepted to be huge, both for onshore wind and wave and tidal energy. 

“While we can capture this energy, we have no way of transporting it to the mainland without interconnectors to the national grid. 

“The interconnectors to the Northern and Western Isles have been in the planning for many years and are repeatedly stalling, and as a result, increasing in price.” 

Mrs Grant concluded ; 

“It had been hoped that the Contracts for Difference pricing regime would have offered an incentive to developers to pay for these connections but this opportunity has been missed therefore it falls to government to fund these connections in a different manner and I have asked Mr Clark how his government intends to deliver these connections and how these will be funded.”