Less-established renewable energy technologies and onshore wind farms on the Scottish islands are to be allowed to compete in a Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction in spring 2019.

Renewables projects will be able to compete for supply contracts worth a total of £557 million.

Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “This is a crucial step forward in what has been a decade-long process for developers and island communities to see their projects get a route to market.”

The news follows the success of offshore wind projects in the previous CfD auction, winning contracts to supply 3.2GW of electricity.

Calls for further support

Hugh McNeal, Chief Executive at trade body RenewableUK, also welcomed the development, but called for greater support for wave and tidal devices, and for floating wind turbines.

“The Government’s investment and long-term strategy for offshore wind is delivering great economic benefits all around the country. Now we need the Government to show the same level of commitment to our cutting-edge wave and tidal energy industries.

Innovative floating offshore wind technology also offers new opportunities. Ministers should send a clear signal that they understand the many ways our island nation can tap the enormous and diverse energy resources in our seas, and export these industries globally,” he added.

Most onshore wind along with solar look set to miss out again.

James Court, Head of Policy and External Affairs at the Renewable Energy Association, warned: “We still find ourselves in a situation where the government will support new nuclear, new gas, new diesel, yet won’t support the most cost-effective technologies such as solar, onshore wind and biomass, which are still blocked to market.”

> See BEIS's statement