High-level talks have been held with the UK government aimed at ensuring long term benefits for Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles from renewable energy.
Representatives from the three island communities met with UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd, following the discussions with UK Prime Minister David Cameron during his visit to Orkney early in June.
The island representatives asked the Government to:
- Introduce a ‘strike price’ for electricity generated from the wind in the islands – the minimum price developers could expect to be paid for power from islands-based wind energy projects.
- Confirm a strike price for electricity from wave and tidal energy projects.
- Ensure there is long-term funding support for electricity generated from marine energy test centres.
Steven Heddle, Orkney Islands Council Convener, said: “The measures we propose would encourage investment in islands-based wind energy projects, and in the further development and commercialisation of wave and tidal technologies. Taken together they would greatly strengthen the case for new grid connections to mainland Scotland from Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.
“This would overcome the main obstacle we face before we can export significant amounts of electricity generated from the wind and the seas around us.
“We believe it is hugely important that the islands are allowed to deliver their potential in this way. Our communities would benefit greatly – as would the UK as a whole in terms of the mix of power sources needed to guarantee future energy security.”
A response from the Government is expected later this year, Orkney Islands Council informed.
Also taking part in the discussions were Andrew Dunlop, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Scotland Office, Aaron Priest, Head of Development and Strategy at Viking Energy Shetland, Calum Iain MacIver, Head of Development at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, OIC Strategic Advisor Shona Croy, and officials from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and the Scotland Office.