Donald Trump has claimed Scotland would “go broke” if Alex Salmond pressed ahead with plans to surround the coastline with thousands of wind turbines.
He warned the first minister, who hopes the renewables revolution will boost the case for independence, that the country would be more dependent than ever because windfarms were inefficient and costly.
The businessman made the remarks after accepting an invitation to share his views about offshore windfarms with a group of MSPs next month.
Members of Holyrood’s economy, energy and tourism committee agreed yesterday to ask Mr Trump to take part in an inquiry into Scotland’s renewable energy targets.
The session will allow the tycoon to explain why he is opposed to plans for a £150million European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre near his golf resort at the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire.
He has vowed to spend at least £10million to stop the spread of windfarms in the country – and take the Scottish Government to court if it approves the Aberdeen Bay proposal for 11 turbines, each 639ft high.
Mr Trump said: “It will be my great honour to testify and I will be telling the committee that industrial turbines will destroy tourism, the environment, vanquish the magnificent coastline and Scotland will become the laughing stock all over the world.”
Peter Atherton, an analyst with Citigroup, recently told MSPs £46billion of infrastructure was needed to meet renewable energy targets but it was “questionable” if an independent country could afford to pay an annual subsidy of £4billion to deliver that amount of power.
Mr Trump said: “Scotland cannot afford the massive subsidies necessary to produce this inefficient form of electricity – it will be broke.
“It won’t be independent, it will be totally dependent on everybody because it won’t have any money.
“These are massively expensive structures which will have to be replaced constantly.”
The committee is holding a three-month inquiry into whether targets to meet 30% of the country’s energy demands from wind and marine power and 100% of electricity by 2020 are realistic.
Committee convener Murdo Fraser said he was looking forward to Mr Trump’s appearance and was sure he would be subjected to “robust questioning about the views he holds”.
A Scottish Government spokesman said “The country has massive green energy potential and we have a responsibility to ensure that it seizes the opportunity to create tens of thousands of new jobs and secure billions of pounds of investment.”
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