New evidence of the unprecedented pressure SNP ministers are exerting on Scottish planning authorities to allow more wind farm developments can be disclosed by the Daily Telegraph.
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A community councillor from Argyll is mounting a landmark legal challenge against the UK and the EU at the United Nations in Geneva this week over their renewables policies, on the grounds that the public is being denied the truth about the alleged benefits, and the adverse impact, of wind power.
A major finance group has urged extreme caution over investing in Scotland’s renewable energy sector, partly because of the independence referendum.
Tags: wind energy
Mass protests mean the energy firm will look offshore
State-owned energy firm Dong Energy has given up building more wind farms on Danish land, following protests from residents complaining about the noise the turbines make.
It had been Dong and the government’s plan that 500 large turbines be built on land over the coming 10 years, as part of a large-scale national energy plan. This plan has hit a serious stumbling block, though, due to many protests, and the firm has now given up building any more wind farms on land.
Anders Eldrup, the CEO of Dong Energy, told TV2 News: ‘It is very difficult to get the public’s acceptance if the turbines are built close to residential buildings, and therefore we are now looking at maritime options.’
The move has met resistance from parliament, where amongst others Anne Grete Holmgaard, the chairperson of the Parliamentary Environmental Committee, said, ‘It is rather unacceptable that Dong – which is our large, state-owned energy firm – says goodbye to an investment in wind on land, and that they are doing so after we have cleared the way for a test centre where new types of turbines can be tested.’
SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Alasdair Morgan today (Tuesday) published his submission to the Scottish Government’s consultation on offshore windfarms, in which he opposes the short term proposal for a windfarm located close inshore in Wigtown Bay.
Mr Morgan said:
“Although I support renewable technology and supported the Robin Rigg windfarm proposal, I am very concerned indeed about the proposal for Wigtown Bay. In the first place, the available plans suggest that it would be located very close to the shore indeed, perhaps as little as 1.5 miles offshore. That is far closer to land than Robin Rigg.
“Not only that, the Strategic Environmental Assessment supplied with the proposal raises far more concerns than it resolves. It mentions potential damage to areas of high visual and seascape character and also potentially to birds and mammals.
“Of no less importance are the concerns raised over commercial fishing and recreational angling, both of which contribute to the local economy.
“My biggest concern however is that the inclusion of this scheme as a short term project would give little or no opportunity for any of these concerns to be addressed and that the region would essentially be confronted with a ‘done deal’ if this proposal were included.
“I have therefore asked for the Wigtown Bay proposal to be removed from the draft plan, a view which I note concurs with Dumfries & Galloway Council’s opinion, and I hope that these objections will be taken into account.
The Crown Estate and Scottish Government were not involved in identifying Wigtown Bay as a potential windfarm site. It was DONG Energy of Denmark themselves that identified the site and proposed it. The extract below is from the website of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (www.investindk.com).
DONG Energy applied for the concession rights for Wigtown Bay via an Open Water approach, where the developer has itself made a screening to find an attractive site to establish an offshore wind turbine farm.
So if you were in any doubt as to who is driving Scottish Government’s renewables policy, you have your answer. We are delighted that the Danes find Wigtown Bay attractive. Our message to SG is that Wigtown Bay is a lot more attractive to the people that live here without a windfarm.
(DONG Energy is 75% state owned. By Denmark that is.)
Galloway and Upper Nithsdale MSP Alex Fergusson has applauded the Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism’s actions in immediately agreeing to his request for a formal extension to the consultation period for the Government’s Draft Plan for Offshore Wind Energy. Speaking from his constituency office Mr Fergusson said:
Here we try to clarify the position relating to responses to the draft plan.
At a public meeting in Wigtown last Friday (August 6th), [Scottish Government] Marine Scotland outlined the processes underlying the formulation of the draft plan and the selection of Wigtown Bay as one of the short terms sites for offshore wind development in Scottish Territorial Waters.
The current consultation is the Scottish Government’s consultation for the Development Plan and associated Strategic Environmental Assessment for Offshore Wind in Scotland. It runs from 19 May until 16 August.
Significantly, this consultation only became public knowledge at the beginning of last week. Why? Because the start of the consultation was announced at the All Energy Conference in Aberdeen on 19 May and on the Scottish Government website. And no where else.