Reaction mixed to British wind energy funds

Sept. 16, 2013 at 6:34 AM

LONDON, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Wind energy supporters in Scotland gave cautious praise to plans for cash incentives for turbine development on Scottish islands.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey announced the government would spend at least $30 million to make it easier for wind developers on three Scottish islands -- Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles -- to build island projects.

"It's going to enable them to develop these wind farms, to sell that electricity, that green energy, and they will create jobs and economic activity," he was quoted by the BBC as saying Sunday.

The incentives offered to offshore wind are higher than that proposed for the mainland. Niall Stuart, chief executive officer of trade group Scottish Renewables, was quoted as saying the funding was an important step for offshore wind.

He said the measure, however, would do little to reduce the actual cost of connecting island turbines to the mainland.

"While the move does not reduce the cost of connecting to the grid for projects in the Scottish islands, which we understand to be six or seven times higher than charges on the mainland, it does at least help new onshore wind developers mitigate against these high costs," he said.

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