UK government to consult on Contracts for Difference for remote island wind projects

UK government to consult on Contracts for Difference for remote island wind projects

A consultation on proposed changes to the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme has been launched today by the UK government.

Wind projects on remote islands (such as Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland) have great potential due to the strong winds on the islands and the opportunity to bring employment and benefit local supply chains. However, they also face higher costs due to their location and transmission requirements, which set them apart from onshore wind projects elsewhere in Great Britain.

The changes include proposals to enable remote island wind projects to apply for a CfD in the next competitive auction for less established renewable technologies, subject to state aid approval.

The next auction is planned for spring 2019.

Civils contractors said that the delivery of remote onshore wind projects on Scotland’s remote islands will deliver a substantial boost to the economy in addition to providing clean energy.

Chief executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (Scotland), Grahame Barn, said: “These proposals, if implemented, will deliver a significant boost to the economy, as well as generating a substantial amount of clean energy.

“Investment in wind projects on Scotland’s remote islands will unlock job opportunities, benefit Scotland’s island communities, and attract investment in the coming years.

“We expect that if a sufficient number of projects make successful bids it will necessitate the construction of new transmission links into the GB network.

“CECA has long argued that the UK requires a mixed portfolio of energy generation, and Scotland’s remote islands are ideally placed to use the potential of wind as a clean energy source, provided we address the challenge of grid connectivity.

“We estimate that there is over £300 million worth of civil engineering activity in the Scottish renewables sector per annum alone, in a sector that directly employs more than 3,000 people and creates many more jobs in the supply chain.

“If the UK and Scottish Governments take full advantage of the potential of remote offshore wind, this contribution to the economy could be even greater, to the benefit of taxpayers and businesses alike.”

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