State Aid Clearance: Scottish Islands

Energy and Climate Change – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th May 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 12:00 am, 12th May 2016

When the application for state aid clearance for the remote Scottish islands will be submitted to the European Commission.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

We have had extensive correspondence with the Commission during the pre-notification process. The Government will publish as soon as we can the decisions about the contract for difference allocation round for all less-established technologies in pot 2, including strike prices. We will take all the steps needed to deliver the allocation, including submitting any necessary notifications to the European Commission.

Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

I am grateful to the Minister for that answer, but she will know that the application for state aid clearance for the island strike price has been ready and sitting in the Department since the new year. The continuing failure to submit it is causing enormous uncertainty and a massive loss of confidence among renewable energy generators in the Northern and Western Isles. Will she agree to meet me and Mr MacNeil, along with a delegation of local renewable energy developers, to discuss this so that she can hear from the horse’s mouth and understand just how serious it is for our industry and our islands?

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The right hon. Gentleman and the Chair of the Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change met my officials only recently to discuss these issues. I assure the right hon. Gentleman that my officials have also met several representatives of the renewables industry specifically to discuss remote island wind. I will certainly be happy to meet the remote islands forum again to discuss our decisions once we have taken them.

Photo of David Nuttall David Nuttall Conservative, Bury North

Does the Minister not agree that the very fact that we have to go begging to the European Union before we can help our fellow citizens in this country amply demonstrates why we would be better off, and why those citizens would certainly be better off, if we left the European Union, took charge and were able to decide for ourselves how we spent taxpayers’ money in this country?

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

What I can say as an Energy Minister is that the Government’s position is that the UK should stay in a reformed European Union.