Westminster committee in Orkney to investigate renewable energy sector

The Scottish Affairs Committee of the House of Commons is in Orkney today as part of their inquiry into the renewable energy sector in Scotland.

During the visit, the committee will be holding an evidence session to examine community and locally owned renewable energy schemes, and how the renewable sector in Orkney has been affected by recent changes to energy policy.

Among those giving evidence are the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, Community Energy Scotland and representatives of the Orkney Renewable Energy Forum.

The committee will also be meeting industry representatives and visiting renewable energy production and development sites on the islands.

The evidence session takes place at Herriot-Watt University, in Stromness, from 1pm today and is open to the public.

Pete Wishart, chairman of the committee, said: “This is the first time I have been to Orkney as chairman of the Scottish Affairs Committee and I am delighted to be coming.

“It would be unthinkable to hold an inquiry into renewable energy in Scotland without coming to Orkney, where the sector has become such a prominent part of the economy. It must be unique in the British Isles in being able to claim that 100 per cent of its power comes from renewable sources.

“During our visit we will be looking at how wind power came to thrive here and if there are any fears as to its future success in light of UK government cuts to subsidies. We will also see how new technologies are being developed to harness wave and tidal power.

“I am particularly excited to hear about some of the community energy schemes that are operating on Orkney and across Scotland, and I look forward to hearing from the people who run them.

“Our evidence session in Stromness is open to the public, so if you’d like to find out more about the work we do, please do come along.”