The Scottish Government’s drive to cover Scotland in windfarms has reached the school playground bringing new burdens for the taxpayer, figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives have revealed.
More than two-thirds of Scotland’s councils have spent nearly £1.5 million of public money building wind turbines on school grounds, yet already one in five of these have been decommissioned.
In total, 68 turbines have been built at school sites in recent years, the vast majority of which have been funded by the taxpayer.
Only six of the developments were paid for through private means, totalling around £267,000 in investment.
Highland Council has the most schools participating in the latest green energy drive, with 16 schools involved.
In Orkney there are nine schools with turbines, while Fife and Midlothian have seven each.
The £1.44 million spent so far not only covers the erecting of the turbines, but also the costly maintenance and any full or partial decommissioning which may occur, and effects both primary and secondary schools.
The figures, received through Freedom of Information, are the latest evidence showing the SNP’s determination to build more windfarms across Scotland.
Scottish Conservative education spokeswoman Liz Smith said:
“Everyone knows that the SNP’s relentless drive for wind turbines has gone too far, and now we learn that even schools aren’t spared from this obsession.
“Worse still, it turns out that one fifth of the turbines which have been erected on school premises in recent years have already been decommissioned, placing an additional burden upon the taxpayer as well as upon hard pressed councils.
“As the debate rages about the efficiency of wind energy, there are serious questions to be asked about large sums of public money being spent on turbines which, only a few years later, are decommissioned.
“When this happens in schools, parents and teachers have a right to be angry as there is very clearly a case for the money to be better spent elsewhere.”
Below is a list of local authorities with wind turbines on school ground, and costs involved. For a more detailed breakdown, contact the Scottish Conservative press office. Councils in grey had all or some of the money paid from private investment:
Aberdeen – £35,276 on two wind turbines
Clackmannanshire – £20,000 on one turbine
Dumfries and Galloway – £110,000 on one turbine (all private funding)
East Ayrshire – £129,661 on four turbines
East Dunbartonshire – £25,000 on one turbine (£15,000 private funding)
East Lothian – £2,145 on two turbines
East Renfrewshire – £49,322 on one turbine
Edinburgh – £50,000 on one turbine
Falkirk – £40,000 on one turbine
Fife – £108,000 on seven turbines
Glasgow – £29,950 on two turbines
Highland – £432,000 on 16 turbines
Inverclyde – £207,500 on five turbines (£80,000 private funding)
Midlothian – £8,400 on seven turbines
North Ayrshire – £26,620 on one turbine
North Lanarkshire – £22,405 on one turbine
Renfrewshire – £26,000 on one turbine (£18,500 private funding)
South Ayrshire – £33,988 on one turbine (all private funding)
South Lanarkshire – £83,611 on one turbine
Stirling – £40,000 on two turbines
Orkney – £318,141 on nine turbines
Shetland – £80,000 on three turbines (£10,000 private funding)
Total – £1,712,043 on 68 turbines
Public money – £1,444,555
Private money – £267,488
The Scottish Conservatives have consistently raised concerns about the SNP’s approach to windfarm development:
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