Political support pledged to CES members

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Community Energy Scotland brought together our Western Isles community members with Westminster and Holyrood politicians on Monday January 16th, and gained pledges for action at UK and Scottish levels.

The CES team in Stornoway facilitated the event, which gave community organisations a chance to put their concerns to Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil and MSP Alasdair Allan, both of the Scottish National Party.

CES and group members made clear to the representatives how important community energy is to the area.

  • Existing projects bring in £2m per year to the Isles' economy.
  • As an example, one community wind turbine project support 9 jobs in an area of 70 households.
  • Fuel poverty and housing problems are also being tackled locally as a result.

The groups' concerns focussed on grid access – the electricity grid is currently closed to new projects in the islands – and financial support levels. A Community Feed-in Tariff is seen as likely to offer a huge benefit to community energy schemes without significant cost to governments.

Angus MacNeil agreed to put the Western Isles groups' case to representatives of the UK government's Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy when he meets with them today. He also agreed to set up a meeting between the groups and Greg Clark MP, the Secretary of State at BEIS.

Both the representatives pledged their support in promoting the groups' voices during the current consultation on island wind energy.

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Community Energy Scotland, Highlands and Islands Social Enterprise Zone, 67A Castle Street, Inverness IV2 3DU
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