The Scottish Conservative and Unionist party has come out with their roadmap to an energy future. Non conventional (shale and methane) gas, coal and nuclear feature in their balanced report. May not go as far as we might like but there are some useful aspects in it such as 2km setback. We might have prefered two miles but two kilometres would be a blow to many wind farm aspirations as in many areas it would prove impossible to build a wind farm outwith 2 km from ANY direction. Power with Responsibility is a far cry from anything either Westminster or Holyrood has ever proposed. It is only a pity that since Thatcher’s Poll Tax debacle in Scotland the Conservatives are a marginalised party. However there influence with Westminster and the reduction in support for Indepedence mean that we should not right them off totally. In the new Energy Bill presently before Westminster, subsidy payment will be drawn back to the UK government. A minor move but one which will be of particular concern to Wind Farm Companies. The First Minister may promise all he wants but if he can’t control the subsidies he is powerless to seriously influence long term renewable development policies.
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"The trouble with wind farms is that they have a very large spatial footprint for a piddling little bit of electricity. You would need 8oo turbines to produce the output of a coal-fired power station."
Sir Martin Holgate, Chief Scientist at the Department of the Environment of the British Government - October 2004
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