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Halt wind farms, says ex-SNP chief  

Credit:  By Michael Blackley, Scottish Political Reporter | Scottish Daily Mail | 20 March 2013 | ~~

A pro-independence think-tank has urged Alex Salmond to halt the spread of unsightly wind farms.

The Options for Scotland group, set up by former SNP leader Gordon Wilson, said the country’s energy policy is in an ‘almighty mess’.

It wants a moratorium on new offshore wind turbine developments amid concerns about their cost.

The call is a damning blow to Mr Salmond’s green energy policy.

A report written for the group by civil engineer Nick Dekker questions whether or not the short-term rapid expansion of turbines could slow development of a long-term strategy to exploit other sources such as wave and tide power.

In a devastating attack on wind farms, the report raises concerns about ‘intermittent’ energy supply, the need for power station back-up and the cost of subsidies.

It adds: ‘The current policy of producing for export is based on UK needs and those of the generating companies.

‘It adds to the costs of consumers in Scotland. It provides no economic benefit to Scotland. It is a strategy for a devolved Scotland subject to UK energy requirements. It is entirely unsuitable for an independent Scotland.’

Mr Wilson, who was party leader between 1979 and 1990 and was succeeded by Mr Salmond, said: ‘An independent Scotland must look upon these energy issues carefully.

‘We need the cheapest source of electricity for our domestic and industrial consumers – no ifs, no buts.’

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser, convener of Holyrood’s energy committee, said: ‘It is embarrassing that one of the SNP’s former leaders is rounding on its favourite pet subject. Alex Salmond would do well to listen to his predecessor.’

A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘Scotland has an incredible wealth of energy resources, capable of meeting our needs and significant exports to parts of the UK and Europe.’

Source:  By Michael Blackley, Scottish Political Reporter | Scottish Daily Mail | 20 March 2013 |

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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