Scottish Isles Could Get £725 Million From Renewable Energy

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Originally published on Sustainnovate.
By Henry Lindon

Report: Economies Of Scottish Isles Could Get £725 Million Boost From Renewables

A new report from the energy consultancy firm Baringa projects that the Scottish isles could see economic benefits of around £725 million (over the next quarter century) from renewable energy development.

The report also noted that at peak development — presuming investments into infrastructure and generation capacity, with rapid growth in the early 2020s — renewables could increase local economic output by as much as 5% (averaged across the islands).

The benefits outlined by the report — which was commissioned by the Scottish Government — include revenues of up to £390 million for community-owned renewables projects, the creation of up to 2000 jobs (during peak development), and up to £225 million in “community benefits.”

“This report confirms the potential of the vast renewable resources of our islands,” noted the Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing in a public statement. “They are arguably the best places in Europe to deliver renewable energy. The wind speeds are the strongest and they have the best potential for wave and tidal energy in the future.”

The energy minister also called on the UK’s government to progress the required European Union permissions expediently, in the statement. As well as requesting that the energy secretary (and climate change secretary) Amber Rudd “bring forward a viable package of support in the coming weeks that supports the vital grid connections to the three island groups.”

“With high levels of fuel poverty in the islands it is necessary to deliver the unleashed potential of island renewables which will provide huge quantities of electricity but also provide enormous benefits to the people on the islands which could be used to help combat the problems of fuel poverty and rural deprivation,” Ewing continued.

Image by Moyan Brenn (some rights reserved)

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