The UK Government announced its intention today (Thursday 27 June 2013) to consult in the summer on additional support for renewables projects located on islands (where these have clearly distinct characteristics to typical mainland projects). This is on a timetable to allow a differential strike price to be set for these projects in the final Delivery Plan in December.
The move has been welcomed by Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
"Today’s announcement that the UK Government intends to consult on an uplift in the strike price for island projects in order for them to make a cost effective contribution to UK renewable electricity generation targets is groundbreaking, hugely welcome and signals commitment to developing a clearly defined solution.
"Electricity Market Reform has undoubtedly caused investment uncertainty and while there is still some way to go before strike prices are demonstrably better than the existing Renewables Obligation, today’s publication should begin to give industry some confidence of a renewables market beyond 2017.
"HIE has worked with industry, Scottish Government and local authority partners for the last decade to develop a solution to connecting the islands, which enjoy some of our greatest renewable energy resources yet suffer from some of the highest grid charges in Europe."