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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 June, 2004, 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK
Call for shift from wind energy
Wind turbine
MSPs said there was too much emphasis on wind power
MSPs have called for a "fully fledged" policy on renewable energy saying that the focus should shift from wind farms to wave and tidal power.

The enterprise committee said the current policy unintentionally works against the development of renewable energy sources other than wind power.

It called for more incentives for marine energy and other renewables.

The committee also called for a new national planning strategy for onshore wind farms.

The main conclusions from the report include:

  • The committee supports the executive's "ambitious" renewable energy targets.

  • The Renewables Obligation (Scotland) scheme has been successful, but it has led to the invigoration of the market for wind power without developing other sectors.

  • An over-reliance on one source of renewable energy is not good energy policy.

  • Onshore wind must form an important part of increased capacity, but there does currently appear to be a proliferation of large onshore, wind farm proposals concentrated in sensitive geographical areas.

The committee said Scotland was in a unique position to be able to create significant numbers of green jobs through encouraging and investing in leading edge renewables technologies.

It recommends that the executive should create a comprehensive Scottish energy policy in co-operation with Westminster .

This energy policy should seek to shift the focus from large onshore wind farms to other forms of renewable power.

Energy developments

Scotland already generates more than 10% of its electricity from renewables, some from onshore wind farms.

That should almost double by 2010 with an ambitious 40% target by 2020.

The executive currently gives subsidies to companies to invest in renewable energy, but the focus is almost wholly on onshore wind turbines.

However, Deputy Enterprise Minister Lewis Macdonald said the executive was supporting a "wide range of renewable energy developments".

He said there was more wind energy development in Scotland at this time because the technology was more advanced.

More incentives should be given for tidal power
More incentives should be given for tidal power

Mr Macdonald said: "We have many initiatives under way. This includes Enterprise Minister Jim Wallace opening the European marine test centre in Orkney later this summer."

Chris Ballance MSP, who sits on the enterprise committee for the Greens, said that the party was excited at the enormous potential that renewables have for Scotland.

He said: "We all agreed we must continue to grow our wind power base, but must start looking to the medium term and invest now in other technologies in addition to wind power.

"Scotland can be the world leader in marine technology, and we must invest however much it takes to take that lead."

Tory Enterprise spokesman and committee member Murdo Fraser MSP said: "The fundamental problem with the executive's approach to date is the lack of a proper strategy for renewable energy, which has left us in a situation where new technologies such as wave and tidal power have been neglected and all the investment has gone into developing onshore wind farms.

Setback for test wind farm plan
21 Jun 04  |  Scotland
'Largest' wind farm plans passed
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Britain unveils wind energy plans
18 Dec 03  |  England
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19 Mar 03  |  Scotland
Q&A: Wind and wave power
12 Nov 01  |  UK News
Wave machine ready for sea trials
23 Feb 04  |  Scotland
Tidal turbine trials delayed
08 Jul 03  |  Scotland

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