Donald Trump has been invited to a meeting with Scotland’s renewable energy industry body to help clarify some of the misunderstandings it says he has about wind farms.
Mr Trump is due in Scotland on April 25 to give evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee as part of its inquiry into the renewable energy targets.
But Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, has written to him suggesting he should talk with them, or one of the 300 companies and organisations working in the sector, first. He was also writing to respond to some of the statements Mr Trump had made on the subject.
In his letter, Mr Stuart said: “First of all, the people of Scotland and the UK do not oppose wind power, with a number of polls showing a large majority favouring the continuing growth of the sector as we change the way we generate electricity in order to tackle climate change emissions from coal and gas generation.”
He also challenged Mr Trump’s assertion that wind turbines were destroying Scotland’s precious environment and its vital tourism industry. Every project, he said, had to go through a planning process which scrutinised their environmental impact and there was no evidence they were hitting tourism.
Mr Trump was also wrong to say no jobs would be created in the sector, with more than 11,000 already delivered and more to come.
Mr Stuart added: “The renewable energy sector has the potential to regenerate and re-energise local economies across Scotlan, including your mother’s home island of Lewis.”
But George Sorial, the Trump organisation’s executive vice-president and counsel, who will also be appearing at Holyrood, said they had no interest in meeting Mr Stuart.
“Mr Stuart says the people don’t oppose wind power. That’s not what we have seen from the scores of letters from people who are frustrated by the fact that turbines have been built in their backyards or anxious about pending applications,” he said.
“They are all saying the same thing – that they have no voice and the Scottish Government is ramming these applications through the planning process.”
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