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Last Updated: Friday, 16 January, 2004, 11:28 GMT
Official report backs green power
wind turbines
Research backs the case for more wind turbines
New research on the impact of renewable energy has concluded that it could sustain tens of thousands of jobs across the UK.

The findings will strengthen the resolve of the Scottish Executive to encourage wind farms.

The executive's target is to have 40% of Scotland's energy supplied from green sources by 2020.

But it has to overcome determined campaigners who oppose the large-scale development of wind power.

Groups representing government and industry contributed to this latest study.

It assessed the potential of a range of renewable energy technologies including wind, wave, tidal, hydro and biomass.

Scotland must fully embrace renewable energy if it is to enjoy the immense economic benefits it can bring
Lewis Macdonald
Deputy Enterprise Minister
The findings of the Renewables Supply Chain Gap Analysis have backed the view that these industries could sustain up to 35,000 jobs across the UK in coming years.

It concluded that there are already 8,000 jobs in the industry, a quarter of them in Scotland.

The report highlighted employment opportunities in manufacturing, the service sector, research and in agriculture and forestry.

Wind power

Deputy Enterprise Minister Lewis Macdonald has welcomed the new study's encouragement for an expansion of green power.

He said: "Scotland must fully embrace renewable energy if it is to enjoy the immense economic benefits it can bring."

The most controversial aspect of the executive's drive for renewable energy is likely to be the development of wind power.

Meeting official targets is likely to require the creation of wind farms on an industrial scale.

One of the largest schemes proposed for Scotland will be at Hadyard Hill in South Ayrshire.

Landscape fears

It is backed by Scottish and Southern Energy and has the potential to generate 130 megawatts of electricity.

It will provide enough clean energy to meet the average electricity needs of 80,000 homes.

Work on the 90m project will begin in 2004 and it is expected to be fully operational by the summer of 2005.

But opponents of such developments believe they will become a blot on the landscape.

The pressure group Views of Scotland was formed to press for a national strategy to minimise the harm caused by the construction of large turbines.

'Largest' wind farm plans passed
23 Dec 03  |  Scotland
Call to keep wind farms in check
12 Dec 03  |  Scotland
Green power blueprint unveiled
25 Mar 03  |  Scotland
Fresh wind farm drive
22 Nov 02  |  Scotland

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