Calum MacDonald, previously the Labour MP for the Western Isles and now Director of the Point and Sandwick Power, has welcomed the commitment in the Conservative manifesto published today to ‘support the development of wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland where they will directly benefit local communities.’ (page 22 of the Manifesto).
Mr MacDonald, who met in February with Industry Secretary of State, Greg Clark, to discuss community energy projects in the Scottish islands, said: “It was clear from our discussion that Greg Clark was motivated to do something to promote the success of community energy in the islands and I am delighted that this interest has been reflected in the Conservative Manifesto.
“The Western Isles has the largest concentration of the community-owned energy schemes in the UK, totalling £30 million in net investment, making the islands self-sufficient in renewable energy and exporting our power to the mainland.
“We can build on this community success to transform the economies of the Scottish islands and, if the Conservatives are indeed returned to Government in Westminster, I look forward to meeting again with Ministers to discuss the best way forward to enable this huge potential to be released.”
Meanwhile the Highlands and Islands Tory MSP, Donald Cameron, has also welcomed the Conservatives’ General Election manifesto commitment to “support the development of wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland”.
The manifesto states: “We want to see a diverse range of sources for Britain’s energy production, because a diverse energy economy is the best way to stimulate innovation, and also to ensure that we are getting the right generation in the right place. For instance, while we do not believe that more large-scale onshore wind power is right for England, we will maintain our position as a global leader in offshore wind and support the development of wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland, where they will directly benefit local communities.”
Donald Cameron MSP said: “I wholeheartedly welcome the announcement by Theresa May that remote island wind projects in Scotland will receive the backing of the UK Government if the Conservatives are returned to power. Whilst the manifesto recognises the days of large-scale mainland windfarms are over, there is a place for wind power in a balanced energy approach so long as those living in the area do not hold significant objections.”
“Theresa May clearly recognises the important economic impact that such renewable energy projects will have for communities in places like the Western Isles and I am delighted to offer my support to this. It shows that a UK Government led by Theresa May will continue to deliver for the remote islands of Scotland, ”
“I have met with many constituents, communities, and businesses, both in the Western Isles and at Holyrood, who have told me that they want this to happen, and as a result I have initiated discussions with members of the UK government on the issue over the last few months. I would urge people to vote Conservative on June 8th to allow this positive manifesto commitment to become a reality.”