Griffin Wind Farm helps Scotland meet its targets The Scottish Government has set a target for 100 per cent of the country’s electricity requirement to come from renewable sources by 2020, partly to help limit CO2 emissions which are contributing to climate change.
The UK as a whole is expected to comply with a European Union directive that 20 per cent of all European energy must come from renewables by the same date.
To encourage the development of onshore wind, offshore wind, solar, wave and tidal projects to meet these targets, the UK government incentivises electricity producers and developers through a financial support mechanism.
A study by the Scottish Islands Renewable Project produced a final report in May 2013 recommending fair treatment for renewables projects in the islands. The government accepted the case for an islands-specific strike price and further work has been done on what that price might be set at. View from a Burradale Turbine
The government announcement of an Islands strike price of £115 per megawatt-hour of electricity, starting in 2018/19, was a major milestone for the Viking project. It offered island producers £25MWh more than mainland-based onshore wind farms to cover extra costs, such as transmission charges. Viking expects to bid for a CfD contract in 2019, based on a new islands strike price set for 2021 and beyond.
Financial support for renewables projects has received a lot of media coverage because it adds slightly to energy bills for consumers, but it is dwarfed by the billions of pounds of incentives and tax breaks provided by government for coal, oil and gas and nuclear decommissioning annually. Energy bill increases have largely been caused by rises in the price of imported gas.