Campaigners in the north and north-east have seized on comments made by the Duke of Edinburgh attacking windfarms as “absolutely useless”.
Prince Philip is reported to have described onshore farms as a “disgrace” and accused people who support them of believing in a “fairy tale”.
The comments were made during a conversation with Esbjorn Wilmar, the managing director of turbine company Infinergy, at a London reception.
Windfarm opponents welcomed his outspoken attack on the industry, which he criticised for being reliant on subsidies and back-up capacity.
Nick Orpwood, of Aberdeenshire-based Concerned About Wind Turbines (CAWT), said that the duke’s remarks would resonate with many.
He said: “His comments do echo with many similar views that we receive on a daily basis. He is certainly not alone.
“Our main concern is the loss of amenity and the actual impact of adjacent turbines on members of the public. There needs to be a better method of informing people about these plans. To date turbines have been held up as the Holy Grail. We are not experts, but the evidence suggests that sometimes they are not quite the solution they are hailed to be.”
The duke’s remarks are at odds with government policy both north and south of the border to significantly increase the amount of electricity generated by turbines.
Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has described opponents of the plans as “curmudgeons and faultfinders”.
Denise Davis, a member of the 100-strong Druim Ba Say No group in the Highlands, said: “I could not agree with the duke more. Mr Huhne does not have to live with the catastrophic industrialisation of his immediate landscape, either visually or aurally.
“Regarding his personal comments against those who oppose windfarms, I can say with confidence that most opposing the technology know the facts and figures.”
Snpministers have set new targets for Scotland to meet 30% of its energy demand and 100% of electricity by wind, wave and tidal power by 2020. A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government will only approve the right windfarm applications in the right places – and those applications that do not meet the strict criteria are rejected.
“Windfarms can create opportunities for communities, delivering jobs and investment, and our planning guidance for local authorities makes clear that developments must be carefully sited to minimise impacts on the environment or local amenity.”
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