On Thursday [24TH MARCH], speaking at a briefing for MSPs on globally significant energy research in the Highlands and Islands, SNP MSP Emma Roddick said that ‘people are screaming out across the world for the lessons that only the Highlands and Islands is ready and able to teach’ and emphasised the importance of researching the potential of the region’s natural resources at home.

The event, organised by the University of the Highlands and Islands Acting Vice-Principal Professor Donna Heddle and sponsored by Ms Roddick, showcased the revolutionary potential of the energy research undertaken in the region by the University and by international groups such as the Bryden Centre.

Commenting, Roddick said:

“I was delighted beyond words to sponsor this event, my first sponsored event as an MSP in the Scottish Parliament. I believe with all my heart in the potential of the Highlands and Islands and their people, and it was wonderful to have this opportunity to highlight to my parliamentary colleagues just how much of not just the development but the study of what we can do with our resources is being done here, by UHI and its international partners.

“Something I in particular feel excited about is the benefits of international cooperation in this area, through international consortia such as the Bryden Centre, funded by the EU through the Interreg VA programme, which works on marine renewable potential in western Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

“Though this work is vital, there remain huge battles to win. Many of my constituents ask – why is electricity in the Highlands and Islands so expensive, when the renewable energy potential is right there, on our shores? It is a good question and a problem that I am 100% convinced we must resolve. The UK government must listen to the clamour from Highlanders and Islanders and abolish the unfair Ofgem surcharges which continue to make energy prices in our region so expensive.”