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Last Updated: Friday, 7 December 2007, 00:10 GMT
'Faster decisions' on green power
Wind farm
Scotland has tough renewable energy targets
Decisions on new renewable energy developments should be made quicker, Energy Minister Jim Mather has said.

Mr Mather said the Scottish Government plans to set a target of nine months for wind and wave power applications to be decided.

He told industry chiefs however that this target would only apply to schemes which would not be put to a public inquiry.

Mr Mather was speaking at the Green Energy Awards in Edinburgh.

He said the government currently dealt with applications without "unnecessary delay", but called for improvements in consent procedures.

'Clear signal'

Mr Mather said: "Our commitment to renewable energy and sustainable economic growth is beyond question.

"We substantially increased Scotland's renewable electricity target to provide 50% of Scottish energy demand from renewables by 2020, with an interim milestone of 31% by 2011.

"These targets send a clear signal about the scale of our renewables ambitions."

Mr Mather said he wanted to see decisions made quicker by improving the quality of applications and ensuring more robust procedures were implemented.

He added: "The message is we need more renewables but not at any price - the best applications are those that take care to resolve environmental and planning concerns in advance.

"I believe we can work to an objective of having applications being determined within nine months where there is no public inquiry."

Mr Mather will be discussing the issue with the Forum for Renewable Energy next week.

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