Wind projects on the remote islands of Scotland will be able to compete in the next competitive auction for less established renewable technologies (Contracts for Difference) to be held in spring 2019, it was announced today.
The Government has also announced today that up to £557m of support will be available for future Contracts for Difference auctions.
Ahead of the launch of the UK Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, 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. 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.”
Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “Wind projects on the remote islands of Scotland have the potential to generate substantial amounts of electricity for the whole of the UK and I am delighted they will have the opportunity to compete in the next round of Contracts for Difference. This UK Government investment is vital in realising the potential of less established renewable technologies, as well as providing Scottish jobs in the projects supported.
“Clean Growth is at the heart of the Industrial Strategy, and the UK Government is determined to unlock opportunities across the UK, while cutting carbon emissions as the world moves to towards a low carbon future.”
A 2013 report for the UK and Scottish governments concluded that wind projects on the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland could supply around 3% of the UK’s total electricity demand.
With over 700MW of wind projects with current planning consents on these islands this announcement gives certainty that the UK is an attractive place to invest. This will also benefit the skilled UK supply chain, with many projects expected to spend over 50% of their capital and operating costs within the UK.
The Clean Growth Strategy looks at ambitious proposals on housing, business, transport and the environment, as well as the power sector.