Liam McArthur, Orkney MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesperson for climate, today said that islanders have felt “excluded” from discussions about the UK’s energy transition.
In response to a statement in parliament today by Energy Minister, Gillian Martin on the Scottish Government’s energy strategy, Mr McArthur highlighted the expertise of island-based businesses and organisations that are at the forefront of renewables development. He insisted that this knowledge needed to be brought to the table to inform decisions about how the energy transition takes place and who benefits.
Orkney’s MSP called on the Minister to engage directly with the likes of Orkney Renewable Energy Forum and the European Marine Energy Centre and to ensure that island communities are not denied the full benefit of their world-leading renewable resources.
Commenting afterwards, Mr McArthur said:
“The Northern and Western Isles are set to host over 100GW of new offshore wind over the coming decades. This creates huge opportunities, but there remain questions about how these will be realised and who will benefit.
“At present, island communities boasting local experience and expert supply chains feel they have been excluded by those planning this energy transition. That is not acceptable, particularly as Orkney has long been a hub of expertise within the renewables sector.
“I am pleased the Minister has recognised this and agreed to my request that she visit Orkney to meet with Orkney Renewable Energy Forum, EMEC and others. It is essential that this essential local knowledge informs government decisions about what happens next and that our islands reap the benefits of our world leading renewable resources.”