New data shows that the energy that could be harnessed from wind in Scotland has recently risen by two-fifths
THE TORIES have been accused of crippling the wind and renewable sector in Scotland by Scottish MSPs and charities.
The comments come after data published by the company WeatherEnergy (WE) showed that wind power output jumped up by over two-fifths when compared to this time last year.
Charities such as WWF Scotland expressed their delight at the news but also warned that this was a clear sign that the potential of Scotland’s natural renewable resources were not being utilised.
The charity has gone on record as heavily criticising the UK Government for cutting subsidies as well as urging the Scottish Government to do more to work towards a 50 per cent renewable-run economy by 2030.
“We call upon all of the parties to now bring forward policies that will help maximise the benefits to Scotland’s economy.” Lang Banks
WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks said: “Thanks to a combination of increased capacity and stronger winds, output from turbines was up more than two-fifths compared to the same period last year. This was enough power to provide the equivalent of the electrical needs of almost four million homes. As well as helping to power our homes and businesses, wind power supports thousands of jobs and helps Scotland to avoid over a million tonnes of polluting carbon emissions every month.
“Every one of the main political parties supports the aim of generating half of all Scotland’s energy needs from renewables by 2030 – including heat, electricity and transport. With this level of political backing, we call upon all of the parties to now bring forward policies that will help maximise the benefits to Scotland’s economy, as we transition to a renewable future.”
Yet this month the Scottish Tories released an energy plan confirming that they are committed to building two new nuclear facilities in Hunterston and Torness. When asked about the UK Government’s cutting of renewable subsidies for onshore windfarms have stated that it is a matter for the UK Government to address.
“The Tories must demonstrate they are committed to developing an effective, sustainable energy policy framework.” Ivan McKee
Ivan McKee MSP for Glasgow Provan said: “It is fantastic that Scotland is harnessing wind power to meet and exceed our electricity needs. These latest figures show that this industry has an amazing future – but it is clear that by cutting subsidies and favouring nuclear power, Tory energy policy is deeply damaging for Scotland’s thriving renewables sector.
“The SNP in Government recognises the vital role renewables have to play in our continued economic prosperity and in protecting our environment which is why the draft Scottish Energy Strategy has already proposed an ambitious but achievable goal of a 50 per cent renewables target.
“The Tories must demonstrate they are committed to developing an effective, sustainable energy policy framework that will help cut energy bills and safeguard our environment for future generations. and I hope the Chancellor will deliver this by setting out ambitious proposals to secure our renewables sector in Wednesday’s Budget.”
Despite the cuts to subsidies, that help the industry encourage developers and communities buy land to house the turbines, WE’s data showed that wind turbines in Scotland provided 1,331,420 Mega Watts per hour of electricity to the National Grid since last year. This is enough to supply, on average, the electrical needs of 3.9m Scottish households.
Additionally, there have been worries about the safety of jobs in Scotland after a survey of renewables businesses found that they expect to lose one sixth of their staff over the next year. There are around 21,000 people working in Scotland’s renewables sector.
Picture courtesy of Ian D Keating
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