Renewables jobs

MORE needs to be done to ensure Shetland and Orkney become national and international leaders in renewable energy, says Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael.

He was speaking after a report commissioned by Scottish Renewables found the industry was providing full time employment to 11,695 people in Scotland.

The sector provides work for 1,459 people in the Highlands and islands alone, making it the top region for renewables jobs – mainly in hydroelectric and onshore wind projects.


Carmichael said the report confirmed what many in the industry, which grew five per cent year on year, have been saying for some time.

“The importance of the renewable energy sector to the economies of Orkney and Shetland now and in the future has never been clearer,” he said.

“Local developers have highlighted the challenges that they still face including strike pricing and grid access.

“I am working with ministerial colleagues in government to ensure that challenges such as grid connections are met. I am hopeful that we can iron out the remaining issues to ensure that renewables developers are not unfairly penalised in the isles.”

Carmichael claimed that energy minister Ed Davey, who visited Shetland in 2012 but did not meet with opponents of plans for Viking Energy’s 103-turbine windfarm, had “listened to the community and there is for the first time an understanding within government of the importance [of] reforming the renewable energy market in the isles”.

He added: “What we now need is to see that process through to the finish and help Orkney and Shetland become world leaders in renewable energy.”