People living near Scotland's largest wind farms support more of the country's energy needs being produced from renewable sources, a new survey has found.
The report found an increase in wind energy is favoured
Four out of five respondents (82%) in the Mori Scotland research favoured an increase in electricity generated from wind energy.
The people questioned lived within 20km of the country's 10 largest wind farms.
The study was welcomed by the Scottish Executive, which has pledged to generate 40% of Scotland's electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
It found that more than 50% of respondents said they would support an increase in the number of wind turbines at their local wind farm.
Initial concerns over the impact of turbines on the landscape, noise, and
construction traffic, had largely vanished after development was completed.
Deputy environment minister Lewis Macdonald said: "The results contained
within this report are extremely encouraging.
"The executive is committed to increasing Scotland's renewable electricity generation, so it is particularly pleasing that the majority of
those surveyed would back such an increase."
Wind farm support:
- 20% of respondents said their local wind farm has had a broadly positive impact on the area
- 7% said it had a negative impact, most people said neither positive or negative
- 54% would support an expansion of their local wind farm by half the number of turbines again, while one in 11 (9%) was opposed
- 12% said they were concerned about the impact on the landscape, 6% said that during construction there were problems with additional traffic, and 4% said there was noise or disturbance during construction
- 69% favoured increasing the proportion of electricity generated through wave power while 82% favoured an increase in wind energy.
'Nothing to fear'
Friends of the Earth Scotland's chief executive, Duncan McLaren, said public
support was key to the executive achieving its target to generate more
electricity from renewable sources.
He said: "This survey clearly shows the Scottish public is fully behind the executive's plans and that communities have nothing to fear from the sensitive siting of renewable energy schemes.
"Previous surveys have shown support for wind farms, but never on such a
"Most heartening is the finding that support for wind farms is greatest amongst those living closest to them and that many would happily see the size of their wind farm increased.
"For those who are ideologically opposed to wind power it is time to face the
facts that unlike them, the Scottish public is not prepared to sit back and let
the world's climate be trashed."