The SNP’s Angus B MacNeil has expressed disappointment at the lack of concrete commitment from the Tories to support renewables in Na h-Eileanan an Iar in their manifesto, but points out that mention of island projects may indicate they are finally getting the message that action is needed now.
Mr MacNeil has been pressing the UK Government to support island renewables for many months now and has had one to one meetings with Energy Minister Greg Clark on this specific issue.
With the launch of the Conservative Party manifesto yesterday, Mr MacNeil said the lack of clarity over future support through Contract for Difference (CfD) was however ‘very disappointing’.
Prior to the announcement of a General Election, the Tory Government had been carrying out a consultation on whether or not to include Remote Island Wind projects in the next round of CfD – a vital source of support to make wind projects in the islands viable.
Mr MacNeil said: “It is very disappointing to see no overt commitment to islands CfD in the Tory manifesto. They are mentioning island wind as a community issue but it is very mealy mouthed from the Conservatives and something small that they can go back on.
“It is however a clear indication that the pressure put on the Government by myself, my colleagues in the Scottish Government and the Isles renewables industry is making an impact.
“Island wind projects needs to be considered as a distinct category open for CfDs and it should clearly say this in the manifesto but it does not.
“This is on top of all the austerity measures within the Tory manifesto, this is not a manifesto for Scotland and certainly not a manifesto for the islands.”