A Holyrood committee is to investigate the achievability of the Scottish Government’s renewable energy targets amid doubts about skills, investment and public support for large scale developments.
Murdo Fraser, convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, has announced an inquiry which will investigate the technological, infrastructure and financial challenges of meeting the targets contained in the Scottish Government’s 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy.
The Government hopes to provide the equivalent of 100% demand for electricity from renewable energy by 2020, and 11% renewable heat.
During the inquiry, the committee will explore the merits of the targets, as well as the risks and barriers to these targets being realised.
Mr Fraser said: “This inquiry will take a hard and realistic look at whether the Scottish Government’s targets are achievable. While Scotland’s renewable energy resources are not in question, recent news on planning decisions and various reports casting doubt on issues of skills and investment mean that we need to take stock.
“In addition to this controversy, a vigorous, polarised public debate continues on the merits of certain renewable technologies, and on the siting of developments such as wind farms and biomass plants.”
The Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP is particularly concerned about the decision by Perth & Kinross Council’s Development Control Committee to give the go ahead to increase the size of Scottish and Southern Energy’s 14-turbine development at Calliacher.
Mr Fraser added: “I understand the difficult position that Perth & Kinross Council are in regarding the application to increase the size of the turbines. The council opposed the original wind farm application and spent considerable time and money outlining why the wind farm is not suitable or wanted in Highland Perthshire.
“Although the council rejected the wind farm application, the SNP Government overturned the democratically elected council and sided with the wind farm company. Perth & Kinross Council understand that opposing this latest application could well see history repeating itself after a long and expensive inquiry.
“It is important that the renewable energy target inquiry looks into the pressure that councils are under to deliver these renewable targets and what can be done to protect local decision-making regarding onshore wind farm developments.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding