Friday, 2 August 2013

Power to the people

The long running saga with the interconnector to the Outer Hebrides really proves the point that private energy companies such as SSE are only motivated by self-interest and profit.The renewable energy potential of the Western Isles is huge and coupled with the fact that our local economy is in an precarious economic condition, the selling of renewable energy is a real financial opportunity to bring prosperity to the islands.

So, the Outer Hebrides future is really at the mercy of a private energy company. This raises two important questions at this time:

Has privatisation of energy served the people well? Would it not be better to have control of all our resources with independence?

In a local perspective addressing the first, would it serve the people better to have a council /community owned renewable energy power station supplying every household in the Western Isles with cheap electricity eradicating the high levels of fuel poverty we have on the islands.The SNP have already allocated over £800,000 extra money to tackle fuel poverty in the Outer Hebrides this year. If the council and communities were to gain control of energy prices -  would this not form an excellent platform for rebuilding our communities, attracting prospective employers to the islands attracted by low energy costs. Can private energy companies be trusted to deliver what is best for the people of the islands?

As the deadline approaches for the interconnector and without the case being made, this puts the islands hopes of realising our potential and bringing huge financial benefits to the islands in the balance - voting YES in the 2014 independence referendum is the only way we can secure our renewable goals and supply the people with cheap, clean energy.