By Tom Peterkin, www.scotsman.com 25 March 2012
A leading Scottish Conservative attacked his party colleagues in the UK Government for letting the Lib Dems “dictate” energy policy on wind farms.
Murdo Fraser, the former deputy leader of the Scottish Tories, has been a trenchant critic of wind farms.
At the Conservative conference in Troon, Fraser added his voice to clamour of Conservatives who are objecting to the relentless promotion of wind energy by their coalition partners in the Lib Dems.
Speaking in an energy debate, Fraser said it was a “pity” that David Cameron’s visit to the conference on Friday was not extended for long enough for him to hear complaints about wind farms voiced from the floor.
Critics of wind farms believe the subsidised turbines spoil the landscape and are expensive and unreliable producers of electricity.
Fraser made the point that turbines were subsidised from electricity bills at a time when one-third of the population was in fuel poverty.
Fraser said: “It’s a pity that David Cameron could not have stayed and listened to the debate
“The UK Government are getting this wrong. It is time to stop letting the Liberal Democrats in the UK Government dictate our energy policy. I don’t care whether that is Chris Huhne speeding off into the sunset or Ed Davey riding to the rescue, it is time that the Lib Dem tail stopped wagging the Tory dog when it comes to energy policy.”
Fraser’s intervention came as it was reported that some Scottish councils have earmarked up to a third of their land for wind farms.
East Renfrewshire Council has set aside 34.7 per cent of its land as being suitable for wind farms. In the Highlands, 30 per cent of land is up for grabs.
Recently the local authority body Heads of Planning Scotland warned of a “wind farm landscape” across Scotland.
The Lib Dems have made renewable energy their flagship policy. In 2010, ahead of the general election, Nick Clegg pledged to turn disused shipyards into wind turbine production centres.
The party said 57,000 jobs could be created in cities hit by unemployment, with renewable energy also receiving a boost.
URL to article: https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/03/25/murdo-fraser-on-the-attack-over-wind-farm-policy/