Scottish Government/ DECC Scottish islands project

TNEI and Baringa Consultants worked together to deliver this project to DECC and The Scottish Government.  The study was overseen by a steering group comprising representatives from DECC, the Scottish Government, the Islands Councils, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), NGET, SHE-T and Ofgem.

The aim of this project was to understand why Scottish islands renewables projects have been slow to develop.  It was found that for Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, lack of significant grid infrastructure was the key issue,  therefore TNEI’s grid expertise was chosen for this project.

The work comprised four main phases:

  • Evidence gathering and stakeholder interviews – the interviews explored the key drivers for cost/revenue differences, any perceived barriers to deployment, the associated socio-economic benefits, as well as any potential mitigating actions or lessons learned.
  • Levelised cost of energy modelling – to assess where Scottish island projects sit within the merit order of other low carbon alternatives given that their relative rank drives potential returns and economic viability for these projects and determines the level of support they require.
  • Analysis of socio-economic and wider benefits – a bottom-up view of project specific data was compared and contrasted with top-down analyses in order to derive the number of direct/indirect employment opportunities, security of supply benefits and learning benefits.
  • Cost/benefit analysis and policy options – comparing the relative costs and benefits of Scottish island projects against alternative sources of generation. The study concluded with an outline of potential policy options to address the key barriers to deployment.