Island renewables – doable but expensive

The UK and Scottish Governments have published a report, Scottish Islands Renewables Project, which considers the evidence base for developing renewables projects on the Scottish Islands. It 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 key conclusions are:

  • Renewable generation, including onshore wind, wave and tidal, on the Scottish Islands could make a significant contribution to the Scotland’s and the UK’s 2020 renewables targets. It also claims some 10,000 jobs could be created. However, such claims in the past have not always materialised.
  • The cost of deploying renewables is higher than comparable projects on the mainland, due to the expensive transmission links that would be required. Around £19/MWh and £45/MWh more expensive than comparable mainland projects

The UK 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 GB consumers. A response to the report will be published shortly.

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