[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 February, 2005, 11:26 GMT
Delays 'cost wind farm industry'
Wind turbine
Developers claim project delays could be costing Scotland jobs
Wind farm developers claim Scotland could be losing out on hundreds of jobs because of planning hold-ups.

They say that the creation of a domestic turbine manufacturing industry is being held back by delays and inquiries into wind farm projects.

They believe the lack of manufacturing orders caused by the hold-ups has stopped the development of the sector.

But anti-wind farm campaigners have argued that the companies' jobs bonanza claims are unfounded.

The international firm Renewable Energy Systems is angry it took an inquiry and a year-and-a-half delay before it got the go-ahead for a wind farm in Morayshire.

We strongly feel that because the market is already dominated by Denmark and Germany there is little chance of this industry being developed to a sufficient level in Scotland
Bob Graham
Protect Rural Scotland Party

It said the hold-up meant it could not give the contract to build the turbines it needed to Scottish firms, putting an end to the possible creation of any jobs.

It said that by the time the project was passed last week its key domestic suppliers had either gone bust or moved away from manufacturing for the sector.

The company's Glasgow-based development manager Ray Hunter said: "Scotland certainly has enviable renewable resource - the best in Europe.

"But what we find in other countries is that the exploitation of the resource is mirrored by the creation of an industry.

Planning reforms

"That doesn't seem to be to the same degree in Scotland.

"We need a planning system which gives due credence to those projects which specifically try to build national and local manufacturing benefit as well.

"At the moment that is the missing element."

There is little chance of this industry being developed to a sufficient level in Scotland
Bob Graham
Protect Rural Scotland Party

Mr Hunter said if potential manufacturing pay-offs were worked into the planning process then this would encourage the growth of the sector and attract companies towards it as it would guarantee them a market demand to supply.

The Scottish Executive said proposed changes to the planning system could aid this process.

Enterprise Minister Jim Wallace said: "It's important that the planning process takes into account a range of issues.

"We all know that whenever there is a proposal for a wind farm its usually generates a considerable amount of controversy.

"Local opinion is important, as indeed are environmental considerations as well as the economic benefits that can come to an area.

European competition

"What we must try and ensure is that we do have a planning system that is more efficient and more streamlined and doesn't have the kind of delays that people have had to put up with for too long."

The anti-wind farm campaigners The Protect Rural Scotland Party (PRSP) said the industry had only created a few hundred jobs so far and any new companies would have to compete against already well-established European competition.

Bob Graham, the founder of PRSP, said: "We strongly feel that because the market is already dominated by Denmark and Germany there is little chance of this industry being developed to a sufficient level in Scotland."


SEE ALSO:
Wind farm plans for landmark site
01 Feb 05 |  Scotland
MSPs urged to support wind farms
19 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Bellamy steps up wind farm fight
10 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Storm grows over giant wind farm
06 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Huge wind farm blows into action
24 Aug 04 |  Scotland
Q&A: Wind and wave power
12 Nov 01 |  UK News


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific