Scottish Renewables responds to Donald Trump's wind power attacks

Donald Trump Donald Trump has been critical of Scotland's investment in wind power

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Industry body Scottish Renewables has written to US business tycoon Donald Trump responding to his scathing attacks on wind power.

Mr Trump has halted work on his £1bn luxury golf resort in Aberdeenshire, over plans to build an offshore wind farm nearby.

His organisation has also said it may spend £10m fighting such developments.

In his letter the chief executive of Scottish Renewables invited Mr Trump to consider investing in wind energy.

Niall Stuart said he wanted to clarify some of the misunderstandings the US businessman has about the industry.

The letter has been sent ahead of a visit by Mr Trump to Scotland later this month.

He has been asked to give evidence to the Scottish parliament's economy, energy and tourism committee which is conducting an inquiry into renewable energy targets.

The businessman has previously described wind turbines as "ugly monstrosities" and "horrendous machines".

Earlier this year he accused First Minister Alex Salmond of being "hell bent on destroying Scotland's coastline". He has also attacked Scottish Natural Heritage and tourism body VisitScotland for "remaining silent on the issue".

In his letter Mr Stuart said people in Scotland and the UK "do not oppose wind power" and he said wind developments were "not destroying the environment or our tourism sector".

Start Quote

There is a clear economic and environmental case for us to harness this plentiful and valuable natural resource”

End Quote Niall Stuart Scottish Renewables

He added: "There is no evidence that wind farms are having an impact on tourist visitors to Scotland, and indeed, renewable energy sites across Scotland are becoming tourism attractions in their own right."

The letter went on the cite the example of the Whitelee Wind Farm near Glasgow.

Mr Stuart also argued that wind energy was "neither inefficient nor unreliable".

He said: "Scotland is the windiest country in Europe and there is a clear economic and environmental case for us to harness this plentiful and valuable natural resource."

'Growing voice'

George Sorial, a spokesman for the Trump Organisation, rejected the arguments made by Scottish Renewables and said the letter was "misguided".

He said: "There is a loud, growing voice, which really has become a scream, from people all around Scotland saying they don't want these in their backyards, they don't want them on their coastlines, they don't want them in their countryside.

"Currently they have lost a seat at the table. These applications are being approved and pushed through so quickly, some in a matter of months, despite substantial opposition."

He said the suggestion that wind farms could attract tourists was "absolutely preposterous" and "ridiculous".

The wind farm which is planned close to Mr Trump's golf resort at Menie, is a £150m venture by Vattenfall, Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, which would see 11 turbines erected.

Scottish Renewables has invited Mr Trump to meet some of its members and even consider investing in and "being part of the success" of Scotland's renewable energy sector.

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