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Scottish Government continues to blow warm on wind power

Words: Roger Milne

Scottish chief planner John McNairney has written to all heads of planning this week to stress that the administration has not changed its stance on onshore wind farms or energy targets - unlike the UK Government.

He emphasised that the Scottish Government remains wedded to generating 100 per cent of gross electricity consumption from renewables by 2020. He made it clear that Scottish Planning Policy required the planning system to support the move to a low-carbon economy, including that 100 per cent target.

“This does not place a cap on the support for renewable energy developments, including onshore wind once the target has been reached,” said McNairney.

“We expect development plans to continue to provide spatial frameworks for onshore wind in accordance with the approach in Scottish Planning Policy and that individual decisions be informed by the relevant development plan policies, themselves informed by the considerations set out in paragraph 169 of Scottish Planning Policy”.

McNairney noted that the government’s 500 megawatt target for community and locally owned renewables had been met. He wrote: “We will be reviewing [the target] to maintain momentum and our support for community and local ownership remains undiminished.”