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Scottish Islands Renewables Delivery Forum

Volume 599: debated on Thursday 17 September 2015

12. What recent discussions she has had with the Scottish Government on the work of the Scottish Islands Renewables Delivery Forum and enabling the generation of renewable energy in the Scottish islands. (901443)

This is a very important issue for those living on the Scottish islands, and I want to assure the hon. Lady of the Government’s support. The work of the Scottish Islands Renewables Delivery Forum was discussed by the Secretary of State and Fergus Ewing on 8 June and 24 June. I am looking forward to co-chairing the next meeting of the forum in Glasgow with Mr Ewing next Monday. My office has invited the hon. Lady to meet me there, and I look forward to seeing her if her diary allows.

In January, the Prime Minister committed to the deployment of renewable energy on Scottish islands, and the previous coalition Government pledged to publish information about the remote island wind contract for difference by July 2015. It is now the autumn and we have had no further detail on the CfD for remote island wind, which is critical to release the potential of remote island renewables generation. When does the Minister plan to publish those important details on the CfD scheme?

The Government are actively seeking EU state aid approval to ensure that we can treat remote island wind as a separate technology to onshore and offshore wind, as they operate in high wind areas with very challenging conditions. We are awaiting that approval, and, as the hon. Lady knows, we will be making announcements about CfD rounds later this year.