A PROMISE to guarantee prices for renewable energy produced around the Scottish islands has been described as "a major victory for Scotland".

Westminster confirmed it is to set a specific price for the power schemes as the Scottish Government aims to hit a target of being able to generate 100% of its electricity through renewables by 2020.

Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury said the coalition administration was delivering on its pledge to be the "greenest government ever".

He said setting the so-called "strike prices" would give confidence to investors that they would not lose money by investing in renewable schemes in hard to reach places, with the islands considered to offer a mine of renewables potential.

The guaranteed "strike" price will be paid to help overcome the high initial costs of building offshore wind farms and other low-carbon power.

Ministers had been told investors and firms needed certainty on energy policy to invest the £110 billion needed by 2020 to replace ageing power plants, cut emissions and keep the lights on.

The prices have been provisionally set for each energy source from 2014-15 to 2018-19. They will not be fixed until the end of the year, triggering six months of haggling with the energy industry.

SNP MSP Mike MacKenzie who sits on the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee and raised the announcement during First Minister's Questions, said: "Today's announcement is an extremely positive one for Scotland's islands and can only be regarded as an important victory for Scotland."

Jenny Hogan, director of policy for Scottish Renewables, said the government cannot afford to waste any time in providing the extra support for renewable generators on the Scottish islands.

Ms Hogan said: "Knowing your strike price is just part of the picture; we now need to see the details of the contracts to put them into context, which will not be published until August."

She added: "Only then can we judge if the levels will be sufficient to encourage the investment needed to meet our targets."