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Monday 23 October 2017
23 October 2017 - NEWS UPDATE
Marine

Report highlights high cost of Scotland's marine energy

A new report has highlighted the cost advantage South West England has over Scotland in the development of marine renewable energy.

The 'Scottish Islands Renewables Project' report shows that while there are significant potential benefits to developing renewables on the Scottish Islands, there are also considerable costs that need to be overcome. 

The study says the Scottish Islands could make a “significant contribution” to the UK's 2020 renewable energy targets.
 
But the cost of deploying renewables is higher than comparable projects on the mainland, due to the expensive transmission links that would be required.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “The Government is keen to unlock the potential for the development for renewable energy on the Scottish Islands, but it’s vital that projects represent value for money for the consumer.
 
“The report being published marks a considerable step in progress towards making decisions about supporting renewables investment on the Scottish Islands. 
 
Fergus Ewing, the Minister for Energy Enterprise and Tourism said: “This report is a huge step forward to understanding some of the challenges facing renewables developers in each of the main Scottish island groups.
 
“Scotland’s islands are rich in renewable energy resources, and this independent report makes absolutely clear that they can make a cost-effective contribution to 2020 renewables and decarbonisation targets if issues around grid access and high transmission charging can be addressed.”
 
 David Krohn, RenewableUK’s Wave and Tidal development manager said: “The Scottish Islands are blessed with great wind, wave and tidal resources, and development there can kickstart our nascent marine energy industry.

“However, as this report shows, unless action is taken to offset the higher network costs in these areas, we simply won’t see the contribution that we need to from these areas.
 
"Furthermore, without incentives and mechanisms for encouraging investment in the grid, it is unlikely that we will capitalise on the opportunity to build an entirely domestic industry. That would not only mean the local economies missing out on the job and investment benefits, but also hold up development of our marine resource as a whole.
 
“That’s why RenewableUK is urging the UK and Scottish Governments to take on this work and ensure it leads to a solution for the islands”.
 
The Government, with support from the Scottish Government, will use the report to weigh up the costs and benefits of renewable generation on the Scottish Islands against other sources of electricity, considering the impact on the local economies and communities, and importantly on wider consumers.

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