Given recent newspaper headlines, one might think it a bit strange to suggest that anyone should actually be encouraged to invest in anything "offshore". Well, that’s exactly what I’m calling on our politicians to do.

However, instead of funds quietly disappearing off to tax-havens such as Panama or the Cayman Islands, I’m proposing an investment that would genuinely benefit society, just off our own shores, on the islands of Scotland. More precisely, I’d like to urge the Prime Minister David Cameron to deliver on his promise last year to help unlock the green energy potential of Scotland's islands.

Establishing a financial mechanism, or "Contract for Difference", to support renewables on the islands as he committed and enabling them to connect to the National Grid would lead to massive investment into some of our most remote and rural communities.

Home to some of the best wind, wave and tidal resources in the entire country it makes total sense for us to try and tap into that island potential to generate clean power for Britain’s homes and businesses.

It’s been estimated renewables schemes in the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland could generate five per cent of total UK power demand by 2030. That’s approaching the same output expected from the troubled Hinkley C nuclear power station, but with none of the radioactive mess to clean-up afterwards and for a fraction of the cost.

That level of output would also help Scotland to become the EU’s first fully renewable electricity nation, and go a long way to helping de-carbonise GB power supplies as the UK Government delivers on its Paris climate change commitments.

Orkney and the Western Isles have very limited connections with the mainland, while Shetland is completely isolated from the GB grid. As a result, a number of wind farms on the islands that have already been approved are unable to proceed because the transmission infrastructure to export the power to the mainland is not strong enough, or in the case of Shetland does not exist in any form.

But, fully connecting the islands is about more than ensuring security of supply. It’s an infrastructure project that would bring many other socio-economic benefits to some of the remotest parts of the country as well as UK as a whole.

A recent report by energy consultants Baringa found renewables could be worth £725 million to the island economies over the next 25 years. The same study also found that schemes that have already been given the go-ahead in the Western Isles would create 700 jobs during the construction phase and up to 150 permanent posts. If planned renewables schemes happened across all of the islands, up to 2,000 jobs would be created during the development phase of these projects.

As well as enabling already consented schemes to progress, connecting and strengthening connections to the islands could help unlock even greater amounts of renewables, especially from island-based marine resources.

Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of developing renewables on Scotland’s islands is the potential for significant levels of community ownership or equity. Whether it’s large wind power schemes or the tiny tidal power array on Shetland – which successfully exported the first power to the island grid recently – the potential benefits are huge.

On this point, the Baringa study estimates total community benefits from the installation of renewable projects in the islands could reach £225m while revenues to community-owned equity could total £390m.

All these potential benefits before you take account of the millions of tonnes of climate-changing carbon dioxide that would be avoided annually from not burning coal or gas.

As powers over energy are not fully devolved, if we want to reap all of these benefits, we need politicians both north and south of the border to work together to ensure Scotland’s islands are able to play their full potential in the transition to a zero-carbon economy.

But the window is closing for the UK Government to take the action needed to secure the investment and deliver the multiple economic and social benefits both locally and nationally.

That’s why I hope the Prime Minister will make good on his pledge very soon.

Backing rural communities, creating jobs, and unlocking the renewables on our islands would be one "offshore" investment everyone would be happy to read about in the newspapers.

Lang Banks is the director of WWF Scotland.