A “major shift” in energy policy away from land-based wind turbine developments is needed, the organisation representing ramblers in Scotland has said.
In a written submission to Holyrood’s Energy Committee, Ramblers Scotland want the Scottish Government to move towards more offshore wind farms and wave and tidal power.
The organisation’s director, Dave Morris, will give evidence to the committee today.
Morris’ appearance comes on the back of US tycoon Donald Trump’s submission to the committee yesterday, voicing his objections to wind farms.
Mr Trump, who is set to appear before MSPs next week, is against plans to erect turbines off the coast of the Aberdeenshire.
He believes wind farms could “completely end” tourism in Scotland and the country is “in effect committing financial suicide”.
That’s not a view shared by Ramblers Scotland, who feel “better planning guidance” is needed for offshore wind farm development.
The group wrote: “We believe that there should be a major shift in energy policy towards offshore wind farms, wave and tidal power, household energy generation through photo-voltaics or combined heat and power, and a huge campaign to reduce the demand for energy and change the behaviour of the Scottish population.”
The submission added: “Ramblers Scotland believes that while global climate change and energy security issues need to be addressed, with urgency, the way this is being done at present is damaging Scotland’s overall environmental quality and reputation.
“Government policy is focusing too much on supporting renewable electricity generation through one technology – large-scale, land-based wind turbine developments.
“Modern wind turbines are now too large to be able to fit comfortably into most landscapes, visually dominating surrounding views.
“There has been minimal consideration given to the potential impacts on the tourism industry as a result of large-scale onshore wind farm development.
“We believe that the present situation is seriously threatening Scotland’s reputation as a country with world-famous natural beauty.
“This is likely to significantly diminish the numbers of people who choose to come to Scotland to enjoy our scenery and outdoor recreation opportunities.”