Carmichael wants joint effort on grid connections
A combined effort is needed between governments, regulators and the private sector to secure grid connections for the isles – according to isles MP Alistair Carmichael.
Speaking at the Green Investment Bank conference this week, Mr Carmichael said any failure to act on grid issues post-referendum would be a “missed opportunity of tragic proportions.”
He said: “Last year the coalition government also announced a specific strike price for Scottish Islands which will help to unlock their renewable potential.
“That was a welcome and necessary step and it established an important principle. It provides, however, only a mechanism for supporting generation capacity once it is installed.
“Without grid connections for the islands we shall never see that capacity installed and the potential for the generation of tidal and wave power will not be realised – or at the very least it will not be realised here.
“Other countries have their eyes on the same prize so now, with the referendum behind us, I want to see all the effort of Scotland’s two governments, along with the regulator and the private sector, focused on making this happen. Not to do so would be to invite a missed opportunity of tragic proportions.”
On the work being done by the Green Investment Bank, Mr Carmichael added: “In its first two years, the UK Green Investment Bank has backed 34 projects, directly committing more than £1.4 billion and bringing alongside a further £3.5 billion of additional private sector capital.
“The marketplace remains challenging but I am confident the bank will continue to go from strength to strength, mobilising much needed investment.”