Scotland’s coastline will be dominated by giant wind farms as part of a green energy drive that will eat up £1billion of taxpayers’ cash. The SNP government yesterday outlined plans it claims will turn Scotland into a ‘global leader on climate change’.
It will direct £1.1billion over three years towards measures that help it achieve its green targets.
A key element of the plan is to encourage a huge expansion of giant offshore wind projects across Scotland.
But ministers were accused of trying to grab a ‘green headline’ rather than get Scotland’s economy back on track and provide help for cash-strapped families.
As well as the expansion of offshore wind, the plan also includes cutting pollution from electricity by four-fifths by 2030, funding more ‘clean’ public transport and banning councils from sending biodegradable waste to landfill.
Robert Oxley, campaign manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘The Scottish Government’s disastrous obsession with its green policies is costing taxpayers and consumers dearly.
‘Ministers appear more concerned with grabbing a green headline than pursuing a policy that actually helps people with struggling energy costs.
‘The Scottish Government renewable subsidies aren’t sustainable and will only result in bigger bills.’ Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse admitted yesterday at Holyrood that targets for cutting carbon emissions had been missed in 2010.
The new proposals and policies are designed to ensure targets are achieved up to 2027. They include a previously announced commitment to generate the equivalent of at least 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity needs from green energy by 2020 and to cut carbon emissions from electricity generation by more than four-fifths by 2030.
The SNP sees wind as a key part of the plan and Alex Salmond yesterday unveiled an offshore wind ‘route map’, which demonstrates how all parts of Scotland’s coast could be dominated by turbines.
Developers already have plans that could generate up to ten gigawatts of electricity – which could require around 2,000 individual wind turbines – over the next decade.
However, reports in recent years have warned of wind power’s unreliability. In the three months up to midday yesterday, for instance, electricity produced by wind power per half-hour period varied from only 78 megawatts to 4,972 megawatts.
Susan Crosthwaite, former chairman of the Communities Against Turbines Scotland pressure group, said: ‘It’s obvious that the unpredictable ying-yanging of wind turbines will impact on the frequency of the electricity on the grid.
‘One day we have high pressure freezing temperatures with no wind and the next mild temperatures and gales. There is a real issue with wind turbine connections to the national grid.’
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