WIND power on Scotland’s three major islands is to be given a boost by ministers in an effort to make it less costly to send renewable energy to the mainland.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey will announce today that the guaranteed price for wind power in Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles will be increased to make it more cost effective to deliver.
It follows a campaign by politicians and developers in the island communities to compensate for their relative isolation. Davey said that the strike price will now be increased to £115 per megawatt, £10 above the guaranteed sum mainland farms can earn.
“We think it is going to give a big boost to these communities,” he said. He also claimed the move was evidence of the UK working for Scotland.
“The costs of this will be borne by all the consumers in the whole of the UK. If this high strike price had to be borne by Scottish consumers it would have had a bigger impact on peoples’ bills,” he said. The extra subsidy will not apply to off-shore farms or other forms of renewables, he said.
This is the first time that the UK government has announced a strike price targeted at a particular UK area.
Davey said that it reflected the unique circumstances and potential within the islands. He added: “An independent report showed the specific circumstances of the Scottish lslands required a different approach that breaks the mould of the wider UK strike price mechanism, and we are delivering that.”