Mr MacKay was giving evidence as part of the committee's inquiry into the Scottish government's renewable energy targets on 21 March 2012.
The government has published its plans for renewable energy to provide 100% of Scotland's electricity needs by 2020.
Andrew Thin of Scottish Natural Heritage commented on the need for a broad national spatial framework saying SNH: "understood local authorities would like a more prescriptive map but I'm not sure how easy it would be at a national level".
David Palmer of Marine Scotland also gave evidence.
Earlier in the session, MSPs quizzed Chris Norman chair of Heads of Planning Scotland, Simon Coote and Lindsey Nicoll from the Scottish government, which can be viewed below:
Energy Committee: Renewables 1
The committee also heard evidence from Keith Winter of Fife Council; Cllr Roger Grant from Dumfries and Galloway Council and Cllr Carolyn Riddell-Carre from Scottish Borders Council:
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