New guidance on the sensitive siting of windfarms was published yesterday.
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) hopes it will help planning authorities and developers come up with “good” schemes in the right places.
The advice covers siting, design and assessment issues associated with small-scale wind energy projects.
It also helps applicants and planners assess the extent to which a development could affect protected areas for birds, and provides information on assessing the cumulative impact of onshore wind-farms.
Peter Hutchinson, SNH’s head of advice on planning and renewables, said: “Our role is to provide advice on good practice to planners and developers so they can balance the needs of people and nature with wider social and economic needs.”
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing, a Highland MSP, said the guidance would help ensure a “consistent, streamlined approach” to wind turbine applications.
Caithness, Sutherland and Ross SNP MSP Rob Gibson added: “Renewable energy is an infinite asset for Scotland and, with the help of SNH advice, it is going to go from strength-to-strength.”
Scottish ministers have set targets for the country to meet 30% of its energy demand and 100% of electricity demand by wind, wave and tidal power by 2020.
Members of Holyrood’s economy, energy and tourism committee have doubts, however, and have launched an inquiry.
Donald Trump, who will give evidence to MSPs next month, has declared war on First Minister Alex Salmond over his government’s plans to erect thousands of wind turbines across Scotland.
The tycoon, who is opposed to proposals for a windfarm in Aberdeen Bay, close to his golf resort near Balmedie, has claimed the first minister risks becoming known as “Mad Alex – the man who destroyed Scotland”.
Mr Trump has vowed to spend at least £10million to stop the spread of windfarms in the country.