Scotland

Rural Scotland has had enough of wind farms, say Scottish Tories

Wind turbines Image copyright PA

Subsidies for new wind farms should be scrapped as rural parts of the country have "had enough" of developments, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

The party said the move would save money for businesses and consumers and reduce the number of sites across Scotland.

The end of onshore wind subsidies was part of the Tory election manifesto.

The Scotttish government said it was "important we continue to support this vital industry".

It previously set a target of around 16GW to be generated by wind farms by 2020.

The Conservatives said figures showed the target had been "effectively surpassed" with 7.1GWs currently produced, while around 9GWs-worth schemes have been given the green light and other projects said to generate 4GWs are already in the planning system.

Scottish Conservative energy spokesman Murdo Fraser said: "Now that the SNP has effectively surpassed this ridiculous target it set itself, it's time to rein in yet more onshore wind developments.

"Rural Scotland has had enough, and so have businesses and consumers.

"The Scottish government has rolled out the red carpet for wind farms for too long.

"We can see the visual damage that has caused, and it makes no financial sense for so much money to be ploughed into a form of energy that is unreliable and intermittent."

'Landscapes blighted'

He added: "The Conservatives in Westminster have pledged to end subsidies for wind farms, and it's time for the Scottish government to back this approach.

"Communities who've had their landscapes blighted by turbines will no doubt agree."

The Scottish government said it "remained ambitious" for the renewable energy industry and the "vital contribution" it makes towards tackling climate change.

Energy Minister Ferguson Ewing said: "We want the two governments to work together, along with the industry, to decide between us the best way to proceed in relation to the future of onshore wind support, bearing in mind the promise made by the UK government to consult with the Scottish government ahead of any decisions being made.

"Onshore wind is the cheapest way of producing renewable electricity in the UK and it is important we continue to support this vital industry.

"We need to listen to the concerns of businesses and organisations who are integral to the future energy security of both Scotland and the UK, as well as to environmental organisations who recognise the importance of renewable energy in helping reduce emissions."

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