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Last Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Review says 'no need for nuclear'
Blacklaw wind farm
There are concerns about the idea of an onshore wind farm cap
An energy review published by the SNP has found that Scotland produces six times more energy than it uses.

It also highlighted research which found Scotland has one of the best climates in Europe for using solar heat in buildings.

However, the review said there should be a cap on onshore wind farms, although added that there was a "big future" for offshore wind farms.

The SNP said its report showed nuclear energy was no longer needed.

The review found that Scotland exports more than 10 times the oil, about six times more gas, and produces almost twice as much coal as it uses.

A nation that already produces six times the amount of energy it consumes has no need for nuclear
Richard Lochhead

It also said the country exports almost 24% more electricity than is needed to meet demand in Scotland, meaning the country is therefore not in the same position as the rest of the UK.

Those behind the review concluded that previous assessments of the energy potential of the Pentland Firth may have underestimated the generation capacity from tidal power.

They said that using turbines designed for deployment at a depth of 70m could exceed present UK nuclear capacity.

It also said that at least 20% of transport fuels could come from Scottish-grown bio-sources and farm wastes.

Professor Stephen Salter, who chaired the review, said: "Scotland is blessed with a variety of useable renewable and clean carbon technologies.

"The review makes clear the potential for a clean energy future, but it is now up to the people and politicians to make the right decisions for our nation."

The report said tidal power was being underestimated

Mike Weir, the SNP's energy spokesperson in the House of Commons, said: "This report is a real eye opener for anyone who believes Scotland needs new nuclear power stations.

"Scotland is in a very different position from the rest of the UK. We must stand firm and reject a step backward to the nuclear age."

Maf Smith, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: "We're glad to see that the SNP recognise the potential of offshore wind and marine energy, but concerned about sceptical comments on onshore wind, considering it is the stepping stone that will help Scotland make the transition to developing these emerging technologies."

Dr Richard Dixon, director of environmental charity WWF Scotland, said: "This report presents an attractive and compelling vision of a prosperous, highly-efficient, renewable-powered and nuclear-free Scotland."

However, Dr Dixon also raised concerns about the proposed cap on onshore wind farms which he said could hamper the fight against climate change.

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