UK government is ‘betraying island communities’ says SNP MSP

The decision by the UK government to exclude windfarm projects in Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles from the next Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction has been labelled a “betrayal of island communities” by an SNP MSP.

SNP MSP Maree Todd is highly critical of the Contracts for Difference auction decision.
SNP MSP Maree Todd is highly critical of the Contracts for Difference auction decision.

Maree Todd was highly critical that the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy had published detailed budgets of the next auction round for CfD, which covered offshore wind, wave and tidal, but had delayed access to the competition for remote islands.

Her comments followed those of isles MP Alistair Carmichael earlier in the week, who said windfarm projects in the Northern and Western Isles, including the controversial Viking Energy scheme planned in Shetland, could grind to a halt because of lack of government commitment.

Ms Todd said: “The UK government’s announcement that island wind power will be excluded from the Contracts for Difference auction is quite simply a betrayal of our island communities. The decision will delay £1.3 billion worth of investments offered by island renewables projects, which will hurt the economy for our island communities.

“Our islands are already discriminated against due to excessive transmission fees and this decision only worsens the islands’ disadvantage. The decision goes back on previous commitments that the government made to support island renewable projects and it goes against the express wishes and advice of the Scottish government, Orkney [Islands] Council, Shetland [Islands] Council and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

“Yesterday I raised this during First Minister’s Questions, and I’m glad that the First Minister responded by defending our island communities. I hope that with her support we will be able to get through to the UK government.

“I have also submitted a parliamentary motion calling on the Scottish Parliament to collectively condemn the UK government’s decision and calling on Greg Clark to urgently reconvene the Scottish Islands Renewables Delivery Forum to explain the decision.

“It’s vital that politicians come together to present a united front to defend our island communities.”

Replying to Ms Todd’s question, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The decision that was announced yesterday is deeply concerning. The UK government, after a great deal of delay, announced its decision on contract for difference and there are two aspects of that announcement that are of extreme concern to Scotland.

“First, there is what I can only describe as the betrayal of our island communities by not treating onshore wind developments in those communities as an unusual form of energy and therefore able to bid into the auction for the contract for difference. That is completely contrary to commitments that were given to our island communities.

“Secondly, not having a ring-fenced amount for marine technology in this contract for difference raises real concerns for world-leading projects such as MeyGen.

“We will continue to liaise with the UK government. Again, though, just like the basing review that we have been discussing, this announcement was made yesterday, when eyes were elsewhere, without any consultation with the Scottish government.

“I do not think that that is the right way to proceed, particularly when these decisions have such an impact on our economy right across the country.”


Add Your Comment
  • John Tulloch

    • November 12th, 2016 13:04

    This is absolutely priceless.

    Here’s a really silly question: Is it a “betrayal of Scottish island communities” that France doesn’t subsidise an island renewables industry?

    No, of course it isn’t, France is a foreign country.

    Just like the rUK will be if the Ms’s Sturgeon and Todd get their way, following their Indy2 referendum in 2018 or whenever they think they will win it.

    • Robin Stevenson

      • November 13th, 2016 12:57

      Did I miss something?… Are we independent already John?… Oh! That’s right we’re STILL a part of the increasingly dis-united kingdom. [worse luck]

      So what exactly is ‘priceless?’… The fact that the Scottish government are attempting to hold the UK government to account of their lack of commitment over wind-farm projects?… What would you suggest they do John, seeing as we have no other choice at the moment tied to the UK?…. Just roll over, keep quiet, and get back in our box?…

      • Ian Tinkler

        • November 13th, 2016 21:49

        Westminster Baad, Robin, Wicked Westminster actually holding funds back from the SNP/SG windfarm money drain. Poor SG/SNP lunatic energy policy being sanitised at last. Shame, Cameron did not do it years ago, I suppose we had the Liberals injecting their particular brand of insanity. Mind you, May, seems to have the guts, poor Nippy!! Checkmated by another Tory Woman.

      • i tinkler

        • November 14th, 2016 10:41

        Just a bit of fun for you Robin, The name Sturgeon is English, o dear me!! An early record “1281, “Calendar of Inquisitiones post mortem”, Cumberland, during the reign of King Edward 1, “Hammer of the Scots”, 1272 – 1307.. Hammer of the Scots, how ironic, It was an early Sturgeon Inquisitor employed by Lord Cumberland, hammering the Scots all those years ago, Whoop, whoop. You have to laugh do you not?

  • John Tulloch

    • November 12th, 2016 13:18

    What humbug! You want “betrayal”? Here’s a cracker:

    Now that the islands are escaping from the EU and its hi-jack of our fisheries via its odious Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the SNP Scottish government is doing its damnedest to;

    1. Foil Brexit and keep Scotland in the EU and if that fails,
    2. Become independent and take us back into the EU.

    Which means we will re-enter on worse terms than before, being forced to take the euro and the CFP without the British derogation on quotas.

    Now THAT’s WHAT I call a “betrayal of our island communities”

    • jason freeman

      • November 13th, 2016 19:34

      you do realize that Scotland can not join the eu by it self not to mention I think the eu will collapse within the next 2 years

    • John Jamieson

      • November 15th, 2016 10:07

      Is there any reason to think that the CFP will be scrapped on Brexit ?
      It is a very complex agreement, replacement would take years of negotiation inside and outside of the EU.
      As it is thought by many to have been a success it is a prime candidate for continuation as a UK/EU bilateral treaty after Brexit.
      Politically the Tories have little or nothing to lose or gain from scrapping the CFP so it will not be positioned anywhere near the red line in their agenda for negotiations.

  • i tinkler

    • November 12th, 2016 14:36

    Could there be any greater betrayal of Shetland than the industrialization of the landscape and seascape to for fill the Nationalist ideal of the Green Powerhouse of Europe? Be of no doubt, Viking Energy was to be the first of many such projects. Those Shetlanders not forced to move, by way of centralisation, to Lerwick, would be living inside wind farms. Several other major VE type projects already planned for and further interconnectors considered. Viking, Dale of Walls, Beaw Field and these are just the starters. Over 2000 square miles of offshore wind farms, destroying the fishing, wildlife, and beauty of our waters. (1,074 square miles between Whalsay and Sum­burgh, with another 670 square miles around the West Side and Eshaness, , 482 square miles off Foula and Fitful Head 186 square miles off the north-east end of Unst and 138 square miles north-west of Yell.) It is the SNP/SG ‘betraying island communities’ , certainly Shetland and her peoples.

    • Brian Smith

      • November 12th, 2016 21:26

      I thought Viking Energy was a Shetland idea.

      • i tinkler

        • November 13th, 2016 12:04

        Brian, If I remember, originally VE was a Drew Ratter money scheme. Rapidly embraced by the SCT and the usual SIC money boys (one and the same, at that time). However, the whole concept was further endorsed as part of the “make Scotland the Independent powerhouse of Europe” by The SNP/SG, Salmon, 2009.
        The Shetland seas and land, “Green industrialization policy” became a major plank of the “Salmond Ewing” Green power follies. All well highlighted by “Blue Seas – Green Energy”,(2011) . The rest is history., and hopefully soon to become history.

  • Gafyn Reynolds

    • November 12th, 2016 16:32

    If they care about Shetland then why not reduce ferry fares and restore the SIC budget to what it was?

    Yet more Westminster grievance from the snp.

    Get on with the day job.

    • Brian Smith

      • November 12th, 2016 21:42

      What about plane fares?

      • Ian Tinkler

        • November 13th, 2016 18:04

        “What about plane fares, Brian Smith? Just what obscure point are you repeatably and endlessly trying to make? I am unaware of any lie from the SNP about reducing plane fares. The dishonest pledge was to reduce lifeline ferry fares. There is a poster out, with Dannus Skene , Nippy and some other SNP nonentity, making just that promise. So very sad that Dannus to be associated with such a broken pledge. I am certain he would be horrified if he realised how the SNP had no intention of honouring it. So very, very sad.

      • Brian Smith

        • November 14th, 2016 15:03

        What about plane fares?

    • Robin Stevenson

      • November 13th, 2016 13:35

      Ferry fares are already substantially subsidised, the RET programme doesn’t and wouldn’t work for Shetland, air fares are already reduced by 50%, and EVERY council in Scotland are facing budget cuts not just Shetland.

      The SNP ARE getting on with their day job, and judging by satisfaction levels in our NHS, levels of doctors and nurses [best in UK], along with the lowest crime figures in 41 yrs, along with investment in our schools colleges and new hospitals, along with house building figures and our lowest unemployment figures within the UK, More than 80% of Scots paid the Living Wage of £8.25 an hour.
      £3 billion to create 80 miles of dual carriageway on the A9 Perth-Inverness, £745 million to Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, plus M8, M73 and M74 motorway.
      A record £1 billion invested in vessels, ports and ferry services since 2007 as part of a commitment to the islands and remote communities.
      The £1.4 billion Queensferry Crossing is on time and on budget.
      £500 million spent on tackling fuel poverty, with one in three households helped to improve home energy efficiency.

      There are many more examples of how the Scottish government are ‘getting on with the day job”

      • Ian Tinkler

        • November 13th, 2016 22:09

        “The SNP ARE getting on with their day job”, simply spending money they scrounge from the rest of the UK. £15 billion negative balance was it last year? Easy to look good using others money. Now moaning, “Wicked Westminster” will not fund the Green Lunatics profligate energy policy. Poor Robin, Baad Westminster clipping Nippy’s spendthrift Windmill ways . What a shame, but all around me are really happy, fabulous West Side Shetland and her seas, spared from the greedy idiocy of Powerhouse Scotland and “Blue Seas Green Energy.” Have a read of it if you want a laugh, most of it was in prime Shetland fishing grounds. It is not really surprising the SG/SNP dot not really shine here. Silly Alex, his plan I believe.

      • Johan Adamson

        • November 14th, 2016 9:14

        Where have you been Robin?

        Ferry fares are still too high, as are plane fares, discouraging families and tourists to travel. Where is all the subsidy going if it still costs a family in excess of £500 just to get to Aberdeen? Ofcourse, when the ferry contract was negotiated, all of them missed the fact that a cabin is a necessity as they had never ever tried to travel without one, and sleep on a reclining chair which doesnt recline in the freezing cold and not have any facilities to get ready for bed, and no thought was given to having to keep your bairns up all night on a £20 ferry fare.

        And if you have ever been to Orkney you will notice they are much busier with tourists. The distance to travel here is one of the barriers, but the biggest barrier to visiting here is the cost. But SNP maybe actually want to kill tourism so that we can have wind turbines, centralise all jobs, even teachers, and promote Highland and Island clearances part 2?

      • Robin Stevenson

        • November 14th, 2016 18:49


        That £15bn figure [off of the top of the UK head] may as well be £20bn? Or £30bn? It makes no difference when they throw out ANY old figure that their mouthpiece will jump on to do anything they possibly can to discredit the Scottish Government, and fool those that can’t read beyond a headline?

        So let’s take that figure, and let’s ask ourselves ‘WHY’ after 309 years of this super successful Union *cough*- with our neighbour running the entire show – that we have ANY debt? Or deficit? Or annual interests rates that Scotland is forced each year to pay their 8.3% of £1.7 Trillion share of?… What do our GERS figures say about an independent Scotland, doing things differently?… Well!… Nothing actually, not a thing!…. They have based their figures on their very own ‘failed’ analysis, and pretended that Scotland would just carry on doing what hasn’t and doesn’t work.

        I see by the last part of your hysterical rant Ian, that you STILL fail to understand that Scotland don’t collect ANY oil revenue?… Seriously! Just how many times does it have to be said before it eventually sinks in?…. EVEN Mr Tulloch gets it now.

      • i tinkler

        • November 15th, 2016 12:27

        Sorry Robin Stevenson, I simply do not have a clue what you are writing about. Your interesting comment, “that you STILL fail to understand that Scotland don’t collect ANY oil revenue?” seems a little strange, actually incoherent. For your information, I was not actually writing about oil revenue, or even who don’t collect it ?? This blog is actually about renewables, perhaps you became a little sidetracked. Now calm down, before your hurt yourself.

  • Frank Hay

    • November 12th, 2016 17:04

    Even if island renewables were allowed to bid, the £290 million allocated in this CfD round, would not be nearly enough for Viking Energy to go ahead. Also even if they were allowed to bid there are no guarantees that funding would be allocated. The SNP fail to acknowledge that remote renewables come with a very high price tag and that they do not represent good value for money for consumers. They also need to be aware that many islanders are horrified by the prospect of a very large industrial windfarm on their doorsteps and do not feel discriminated against by this decision.

  • David Spence

    • November 12th, 2016 18:55

    The only time the Tories (this government) showed any interest in these islands was when David Cameron, was up here 1 month before the first Scottish Independence referendum, to try and persuade ‘ the elitest people of Shetland society (and no doubt behind closed doors) ‘ to let England take control of Shetland, if the people of Scotland voted for Independence but Shetland did not.

    Why? Because the revenue from the oil and gas coming from Sullom Voe in Shetland would go straight into the coffers of Westminster. Basically, the Tories could give a damn about Shetland unless there was something in it for them.

    In some ways I wish it did happen, as Scotland would, possibly, have to prove it had sovereignty over the islands to claim it was theirs and any revenue the islands made via oil and gas……………………..Welcome in Denmark…………….if only. lol

    • willie ross

      • November 13th, 2016 16:00

      David Spence, you say ” the revenue from the oil and gas coming from Sullom Voe in Shetland would go straight into the coffers of Westminster”. If Scotland was to become independent, where do you think the revenue from oil and gas would go then? Straight into the coffers of the SNP in Edinburgh, and spent on their voters heartlands of the central belt. Exactly what is happening with the increase in council tax. Money raised locally through the council tax taken from the local councils and administered by the SNP to where THEY think it is needed. Another way of the SNP removing local accountability, to finance their supporters.

      • David Spence

        • November 14th, 2016 0:27

        Well Willie, I would rather have the money going into the SNP’s (Scotland) Coffers than any Tories (Westminster) hands. Lets face it Willie, I think there would be a higher probability of the money being wasted more by Westminster (Tories proping up their business buddies, tax payers money going towards private companies where the Tories are shareholders, tax payers money going towards Tories expenses for paying off their mortgage, duck house or £800 a roll wall paper……but to name a few) than it would be by any SNP politician.

        Remember, the Tories only represent themselves, and what wealth they can gain at the tax payers expense.

        As said ‘ The only good Tory (politician) is a ……………………. ‘

      • Ian Tinkler

        • November 14th, 2016 11:49

        It is not just Tories, David Spence, plenty of SNP jokers on the make! How about Mhairi Blacks £13.500 for 39 trips to Westminster? Or Alex Salmond’s cool £500,000 Ryder Cup junketl?? Now if you want to be constructive and really make a difference, join “Wir Shetland”, take control of Shetlands money and that way help control expenses, keep a watchful eye on costs. Be on the inside of something that could benefit us all. All our welcome, if you do not see what you like now, just join have a voice and help shape Wir Shetland and Shetland’s future.

      • Robin Stevenson

        • November 20th, 2016 17:47

        Quality newspapers you read Ian?… The Daily [broken] Record, which states:

        “Mhairi Black MP has been branded a “champagne nationalist” after claiming almost £13,500 for business class flights between Paisley and London”.

        As anyone with half a clue knows, there are NO ‘business class’ flights from Glasgow or Edinburgh to London. They simply don’t exist! It was a lie, a smear tactic, repeated by the gullible [no offense]

        Since the 2015 election when SNP MPs replaced almost all of the Scottish Labour and Lib Dems ones, the total expenses bill for flights has come DOWN by £9,000 and down by almost £42,000 from the year before that.

        Salmond’s ‘cool £500,000’ was spent on the Scottish delegations week long trip to America, promoting Scotland as the next venue for the Ryder cup in 2014, and to ensure that it came TO Scotland, in which it did, bringing with it the £110 Million for the economy. So by my estimates, that works out at a £109,500,000 profit….

        Tell you what Ian, I’ll give you £0.5million IF you promise me the same return as Alex Salmond? ????

      • ian_tinkler

        • November 21st, 2016 17:25

        Never said a word about business class flights Robin. perhaps you should read what I wrote and ditch “The National@!. Salmond’s ‘cool £500,000’ was spent on the Scottish delegations week long trip to America, so he took his pals with him. Cool half million to watch a golf match. I hope the golf did not get in the way of Trade discussions!!! Lol

      • i tinkler

        • November 21st, 2016 21:45

        Tell you what Ian, I’ll give you £0.5million IF you promise me the same return as Alex Salmond? ???? Robin, Alex Salmond lost.

  • willie ross

    • November 12th, 2016 18:57

    It is more like the SNP Gov. in Edinburgh who are betraying the people of Scotland.
    The completely undemocratic planning system the SNP have forced upon the people of Scotland for starters. It seems irrelevant as to how many people object to any wind developments, that is individuals, community councils, regional councils or NGO’s, the SNP continuously overrule all objections and approve planting of useless wind turbines on our countryside.
    Then we have the ‘state guardian’ or Named Person as the SNP like to call it. Nothing more than an illegal attempt to force children and their parents into following SNP mantra.
    And their latest, increasing council tax, taking the increased revenue into the ‘SNP Central Bank’, to improve education for those in the central belt, knowing full well that is where SNP support is strongest.
    All in all, the SNP Gov. are nothing less than a bunch of dictators, who should be thoroughly ashamed of what they have done and are continuing to do to Scotland.

  • Michael Garriock

    • November 13th, 2016 15:16

    Meanwhile, some folk are still waiting to hear from the Scottish Government whether they’re due any more under the 2015 SFP scheme, and if they are, when they can expect to receive that money. Money they should have had in their hands in December 2015. And, folk are still waiting for the remaining balance of their 2015 LAFSS scheme payments, again money which should have been in their hands in March 2016.

    2016 SFP money is due in December, and the Scottish Government can only manage to make an “estimated” payment “sometime in November”. Well, November is virtually half done, and there’s no sign of it so far….and no word when any final balance that may be due might be paid either.

    Those who live in glasshouses shouldn’t throw “betrayal” stones….

    Its taken the current Scottish Government two year’s work to set up a farm subsidy scheme that is still a failure, yet strangely enough their Labour predecessors in ’99 managed to set up a whole government machine from scratch, that handled farm subsidy payments and pretty much everything else virtually seamlessly.

  • John Tulloch

    • November 14th, 2016 16:58

    Apparently, the reason for Brexit and Trump’s election success is that the Westminster and Washington elites are “out of touch” with “disenfranchised”, less well-off people in rural areas and cities outside the elitist hub.

    Alas, it isn’t restricted to Westminster and Washington, Holyrood and Lerwick Town Hall are no better – look no further than this pathetic effort to generate voter outrage at the UK government’s sensible decision to reject the island renewables boondoggle.

    Island renewable energy will cost far more than any other, perhaps, double that of HInckley Point nuclear, when all accounted, yet there is no hint of concern for those suffering from fuel poverty – Shetland reportedly over 50 percent! – or job losses due to excessive industrial energy costs.

    The SNP and Liberal Democrats, now joined by Labour, all the ones who purport to care for the less well-off, are in the vanguard of those demanding the most expensive energy possible. What sickening humbug!

    At least, the Tories have had the good sense to send them packing, thank God!

  • John Tulloch

    • November 20th, 2016 8:38

    Does SNP condemnation of Westminster’s refusal to permit the islands renewables plan as a “betrayal” of island communities mean that an independent SNP Scottish government will force Scottish consumers to pay the subsidies needed to make it happen?

    • John Tulloch

      • November 22nd, 2016 8:12

      In the absence of an affirmative response to my many queries on here and elsewhere, readers may safely assume that, if the UK government will not force English and Welsh consumers to subsidise the island renewables boondoggle, an independent SNP Scottish government will not force Scottish consumers to do so, either.

      So all the huffing and puffing about “Westminster’s betrayal of island communities” is just hot air. Humbug.

      • Ray Purchase

        • November 22nd, 2016 17:24

        John, I’m pretty sure the Scottish Government / SNP don’t make major statements on energy policy through the Shetland Times comments section.

      • John Tulloch

        • November 23rd, 2016 13:00

        Ray, I assume you mean that no-one in SNP Shetland is sufficiently familiar with SNP policy to comment?

        Or do you mean they will not lower themselves to comment in ST online regarding a challenge to their party’s integrity over a high profile, Shetland-specific issue?

        Why don’t you email Maree Todd and ask her, she should know? Then you can come back and tell me if I’m wrong.

        An independent SNP government won’t support island renewables, even they are not that daft.

        Readers may judge for themselves what SNP silence on the subject means.

      • i tinkler

        • November 24th, 2016 8:30

        Ray Purchase, I think you will find the Scottish Government / SNP, wherever practical, will bury their Green Energy policy to avoid a public outcry. Take for example the 2000sqare miles plus of the offshore wind farms planned for within 12 miles of the Shetland coast (Bleu Seas, Green Energy policy). All in prime fishing water!! They will damage Shetland Fishing, the environment and the wildlife beyond imagination, but may supply an income for an independent Scotland. How nice for Shetland folk!!. (PS, All these plans are dependent on VE and interconnector being financed by UK Government and progressing)

  • i tinkler

    • November 22nd, 2016 10:34

    The real betrayers. Tha cabal of Councilor, Charitable Trust Trustees. They overruled public opinion refused to even to consider rational, impartial and politically sensible advice. They then railroaded the Viking Project through the Council without consensus. If public consent had been sought, polled and been given, no mandate for Sustainable Shetland, no Judicial Review and no delays. The interconnection may well have been finished by now!!! What a load of total Wallis, sadly some are still there throwing good money after bad and trying to blame others for their own stupidity.


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