The government’s move to use solar and wind power to generate more of the island’s electricity has been welcomed by a political party and an island organisation.

Work has now started on a programme to fully decarbonise the Isle of Man’s electricity supply using solar and wind power by 2030.

As the Manx Independent reported yesterday, Manx Utilities has received approval from the Council of Ministers for its plans to begin construction projects which will see up to 30 megawatts of electricity produced from onshore wind and solar energy over the next three years.

The Green Party says it ‘applauds’ the government for the decision, which comes in the wake of the Peel Group putting forward a planning application for a 27 megawatt solar farm at Billown in Malew.

‘Both announcements indicate a significant shift away from fossil fuels and towards island based renewable energy,’ it said.

‘It is anticipated that the plans will only be the beginning for the large-scale adoption of renewable energy that will ultimately see energy bills fall, residents and business being better protected from volatile fossil fuel markets, and, if prioritised, the island achieving its international and domestic commitments to reduce carbon emissions.

‘This is a change that the Isle of Man Green Party has long called for and we welcome that the government has finally now adopted our position.’

The Green Party added: ‘The paradox of the Isle of Man has been that despite having abundant wind resources, it is heavily dependent on fossil fuels or foreign imports for electricity generation.

‘The announcement by the government sees an indication that the Cannan administration has finally accepted that the data of the falling price of solar, wind, and batteries cannot be ignored any longer.’

It is now calling for the government to support the wider adoption of renewables outside of the public sector by proposing plans to follow the UK’s adoption of permitted development orders for small scale, domestic wind turbines within appropriate parameters.

The Green Party is also urging it to provide new guidance for the adoption of larger, onshore wind turbine proposals and set out its plans for the installation and scaling-up of grid scale batteries to improve the management of grid balancing.

It will be hosting a meeting on energy and policy on February 21, from 7pm at the Columba Club, Circular Road, Douglas.

The meeting is open to the public and new ideas on a sustainable future for the Isle of Man are welcomed.

Meanwhile, the Energy and Sustainability Centre Isle of Man has also welcomed the news.

ESC director Ralph Peake said: ‘In the context of reaching the ultimate net zero 2050 target, it may seem small because there’s obviously a very long way to go on the road map set out in the government’s strategy.

‘However, we still see this as a significant, positive development because it is a practical step that should lead to an increase in the amount of electricity the island generates from renewable energy.’