Connecting...

£1.3bn of Scottish Wind Power Investment Looks Uncertain

06 Feb 17:00 by Steve Walia

Wind Farm

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association has warned that the UK government is giving insufficient priority and investment to wind energy on the Scottish islands and is joining with the renewables sector to demand that more support is forthcoming.

According to CECA Scotland, around £1.3 billion of potential green energy investment has been put on hold in recent months and negatively impacted Scotland's economy as a result.

A year-long consultation process has been held by the renewable and engineering industries in Scotland with the UK government, with the latter delaying its final decision on whether or not it will remove existing barriers to onshore wind farms in the Scottish isles.

CECA's CEO, Alan Watts, said that island-based onshore wind was key for Scotland's economy in the current uncertain times, with more than £300 million of civil engineering work ready to be unlocked each year in Scotland's renewable energy industry alone.

He explained that this would equate to more than 10p of the country's total output for civil engineering, with more than 3,000 employment opportunities in parts of Scotland that are remote and otherwise economically struggling - and additional jobs in the wider supply chain.

He added that CECA believed that the development of onshore wind on Scottish islands would help to grow the economy and help to support thriving local communities through the development of green energy. Currently, these wind farms are struggling to attract the necessary levels of investment from government, equity or private business, especially after the referendum result.

Last year the UK government said it would be cutting subsidies to onshore wind projects.

CECA has told BEIS that separate treatment for Scottish islands would facilitate a £1.3 billion wind technology investment in the country's economy, leading to direct benefits of £725 million over 25 years.