US tycoon Donald Trump has warned Scotland will be in “serious trouble” if it continues to promote wind farms.
He told a parliamentary inquiry they were inefficient, could not operate without big subsides and “killed massive amounts of wildlife”.
Mr Trump is strongly opposing plans for an offshore development near his new £1bn golf resort in Aberdeenshire.
He made his comments to the Scottish Parliament’s economy, energy and tourism committee.
The businessman’s comments are at odds with the Scottish government’s drive to turn the country into Europe’s green capital.
Mr Trump was quizzed by MSPs sitting on the committee, which is holding an inquiry into whether the government can meet its green energy targets.
Ministers want to see Scotland generating the equivalent of 100% of its own electricity demand from renewable resources by 2020.
Mr Trump said he supported renewable developments like wave and tidal power, but said the use of wind farms was “one of the most serious problems Scotland will have or has had”.
He told MSPs: “Many countries have decided they don’t want wind because it doesn’t work without massive subsidies – it kills massive amounts of birds and wildlife and there are lots of other reasons.
“It’s a very inefficient form of energy. It’s an energy that, when you need it most, you don’t get it because the wind isn’t blowing.
“They are so unattractive, so ugly, so noisy and so dangerous that, if Scotland does this, I think Scotland will be in serious trouble – I think you’ll lose your tourism industry to Ireland and lots of other places that are laughing at what Scotland is doing.”
Mr Trump has hit out at an application for 11 turbines off Aberdeen Bay, 2km (1.2 miles) from his golf resort.
The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre is a £150m joint venture by utility company Vattenfall, engineering firm Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group.
But Mr Trump, whose organisation said it would be prepared to spend up to £10m fighting such developments, argued the Aberdeen Bay project would spoil the sea views for his customers.
Scottish ministers have yet to make a decision on whether to approve the project.
Mr Trump said of his resort: “I don’t want to see it destroyed by having 11 monstrosities built looming over it, literally one mile away.
“I’ve spent a tremendous amount of money – debt free, no debt on the property – building what many are already considering to be the greatest golf course anywhere in the world.”
The Scottish government said offshore wind was worth £30bn of investment to Scotland, and could create up to 28,000 Scottish jobs.
The Scottish government has also disputed Mr Trump’s claims over wind farms damaging tourism, saying visitor numbers – including those from North America – were on the rise.
When asked by the committee to provide statistical evidence that wind farms were killing tourism, Mr Trump replied: “I am the evidence”.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding