VITAL planning permission for almost 50 wind farms in Scotland could be lost along with jobs in the industry unless a political ban on their access to the energy market is lifted, according to new research. The study from industry body Scottish Renewables said the wind farms could produce enough energy to power the equivalent of 850,000 homes. It also came against a warning from wind turbine manufacturer, CS Wind, that market conditions meant it might have to cut three quarters of its almost 100 workforce in Campbeltown. Scottish Renewables said the wind farms identified in its study would increase Scotland’s renewable energy capacity by almost 15% – but most have not been built because of a UK Government block on onshore wind power. Other issues affecting their development included the speed at which alterations to projects, which were vital to improve their economics, were held up in Scotland’s planning system, as well as increased fees for planning services, business rates and aviation issues. Planning permission for the 47 projects, stretching from Shetland to Dumfriesshire, was obtained during the period of the UK Government’s onshore wind moratorium – and will begin to expire from next spring (2020). Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “It is heart-breaking to see jobs being lost at CS Wind in Argyll as the projects which could have provided the company with work are unable to proceed in large part because of the UK Government’s politically motivated intransigence.
The National 2nd Nov 2019 read more »