Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has said a new report on island renewables in Scotland sets out a clear route map to delivering crucial infrastructure for the sector.
The research into the economic opportunities that the renewables sector offers found that the industry could offer £725m in benefits to Scotland’s island communities.
Mr McArthur also repeated calls for SNP Ministers to scrap the defunct Saltire Prize for renewable energy and invest the money into supporting wave energy firms. SNP Ministers have accepted that the £10m prize cannot be won in its current form.
Orkney MSP Liam McArthur, who is also the Scottish Liberal Democrat Energy Spokesperson, said:
“Everyone knows that the potential gains from renewable energy in Orkney and the rest of Scotland’s islands are enormous. But this report makes clear that without investment in proper infrastructure there is no way that we will realise more than a fraction of these benefits.
“The Tories have declared war on the UK renewables industry at Westminster but it is vital that they realise the costs of failing to act on grid connections and invest in generating assets.
“Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles have the natural resources to lead the world in the generation of renewable energy. But we will not see an increase in clean energy or green jobs if the UK government does not take this seriously.
“We should also not forget that the Scottish Government can still do more to support the sector. Multiple rounds of redundancies have been announced while millions of pounds of Scottish Government funding from the Saltire Prize is gathering dust in bank accounts.
“Ministers have accepted that the prize cannot be won in its current form. It is time that this money was protecting jobs rather than sitting doing nothing.”