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Trump takes fight south  

Credit:  By Caroline Brodie | The Press and Journal | www.pressandjournal.co.uk 23 July 2012 ~~

Tycoon Donald Trump is taking his windfarm fight to Westminster after being asked to appear before a House of Commons committee later this year.

The news came as First Minister Alex Salmond yesterday confirmed the Scottish Government would cut onshore windfarm subsidies by no more than 10%, a move which was welcomed by trade bodies and environmental groups.

Mr Salmond urged the UK Government to follow suit and give clarity to the renewable energy industry.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has proposed a 10% cut to onshore wind energy subsidies, although Chancellor George Osborne wants to go further with a 25% cut.

A decision was due last week, but it has been deferred as the two departments and senior cabinet members argue over the way forward.

RenewableUK, the trade body for the wind industry, has warned that Osborne’s proposals will “kill off the industry”, threaten the creation of thousands of jobs and condemn the public to decades of dependence on fossil fuels and ever-rising energy bills.

Mr Trump, who is fighting plans for a windfarm close to his golf course at Menie Estate, near Balmedie in Aberdeenshire, has continuously clashed with Scotland’s first minister over windfarms. He previously accusing Mr Salmond of being “hell-bent” on destroying Scotland with his green energy plans.

Mr Trump is bankrolling anti-windfarm group Communities Against Turbines Scotland and is prepared to spend as much as £10million funding the fight.

He has also said the future of his £250million hotel and housing project rests with the Scottish Government, whose agency Marine Scotland, is considering plans for the 11-turbine project planned for Aberdeen Bay.

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre is a £200million joint venture by utility company Vattenfall, engineering firm Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group.

Mr Trump claims it will ruin the views from his £750million golf resort.

The American billionaire recently told a Holyrood inquiry into renewable energy that windfarms would cause irreparable damage to Scotland’s economy.

George Sorial, Mr Trump’s head of development, said: “This is no longer just about Donald Trump opposing a windfarm off the east coast of Scotland.

“We are going for a killer blow. This is an aggressive move that aims to cause the renewables industry as much pain as possible by bringing about heavy cuts to their subsidies.

“The massive handouts these windfarm companies enjoy at the expense of the British taxpayer are behind the construction of thousands of ugly, industrial turbines.

“If action isn’t taken now, the British landscape will be blighted by tens of thousands more.”

Source:  By Caroline Brodie | The Press and Journal | www.pressandjournal.co.uk 23 July 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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