Scotland is set for a multi-million pound renewable energy boom which experts say will transform local communities. UK Ministers yesterday announced that wind power projects on some of Scotland’s furthest-flung outposts will be able to apply for subsidies which would remove the element of financial risk that comes with building away from the mainland. The amount of offshore wind around the UK is also set to double in the next decade after the Government confirmed support for the industry. A new auction for companies to bid for subsidies for offshore wind farms will take place in May next year, with auctions every two years, providing up to £557 million in support. Island schemes will become eligible for a “Contract for Difference” (CfD) with the UK Government, which covers the shortfall between the cost of investing in infrastructure in remote locations and the average market price for electricity in the UK market. This ensures electricity generators have stable revenues while customers are insulated against rising bills. Many Scottish islands are ideal locations for the development of wind power given their naturally stormy environments. Now ministers have announced that for the first time, onshore wind farms on remote islands such as Shetland and Orkney will also be able to compete in the auctions. The move could deliver up to an additional two gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind per year in the 2020s, to bring total capacity up to 30GW by 2030 from current levels of 7GW in operation, and 7GW in construction or with contracts.
Herald 24th July 2018 read more »