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Royal Society to visit isles to gather views on energy

ACADEMIC body The Royal Society of Edinburgh will visit Shetland later this month to gather evidence on energy generation, demand and use.

Topics which will be covered by a visiting panel will include the cost of energy, renewables, interconnectors, the contracts for difference auction, future solutions and the environment.

A meeting will be held at the Town Hall in Lerwick on the afternoon of 11 April before a public evidence gathering event takes place at the Shetland Museum auditorium from 5.30pm.

The panel will include the Royal Society chairman Sir Muir Russell and Professor Gavin Little of Stirling University.

The visit is part of a wider series of meetings which are being held throughout the country on behalf of the Scottish Government to gather information on energy.

The inquiry will “also look to inform the policy and decision making at a Scottish, UK and international level that will ultimately decide whether the path Scotland chooses to follow provides the resources needed at acceptable financial, moral, ethical and environmental costs”.

Chairman of Shetland Islands Council’s environment and transport committee Ryan Thomson said it is an “opportunity for people to give their views on existing energy generation and the future for renewables here in Shetland, and I’d urge anyone who’s interested to attend these events”.

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott echoed Thomson’s views and said it is a chance to “raise the power needs of the islands, the importance of security of supply and the alternative sources of power that potentially exist”.

“Shetland has unique energy needs as a result of its remote geographical location, and issues such as fuel poverty, the cost of petrol and problems with recycling affect Shetland differently from the Scottish mainland,” he added.