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Renewables/Energy Transition

Campaigners celebrate after windfarm rejection

Campaigners were celebrating last night after the controversial Brown Muir windfarm plans were rejected by councillors. But SNP members of the local authority were facing a backlash from protesters amid accusations they put their party before the people by voting to back the scheme. The 12-turbine project tabled by Vento Ludens for a site between Elgin and Rothes attracted more than 1,300 objections. By contrast, Moray Council received just 20 submissions supporting the proposed development. The local authority’s planning and regulatory services committee blocked the application yesterday on the casting vote of chairman Chris Tuke.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Campaigners welcome early end to wind subsidy

Campaigners have hailed the early closure of a subsidy scheme for onshore wind projects – while renewables experts last night warned it will deter investment. Jenny Hogan, director of policy at Scottish Renewables, warned firms were at risk of “shutting up shop altogether” and that 5,400 jobs had been put at risk by the withdrawal of the Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme. Ending the subsidy – funded by levies to household bills – a year earlier than expected could cost up to £3billion of investment, she added. Ms Hogan also called for the Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee to consider holding an inquiry on the move, which she said would have a disproportionate impact on Scotland.


Opinion: Turbines and tourism can co-exist

After a survey conducted by anti-windfarm campaigners revealed the developments were driving visitors away from Scotland, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing explains why he believes turbines and tourism can co-exist. A successful tourism industry is absolutely vital for Scotland's economy. In 2014, there were 15.7 million overseas and domestic visits, up 10% on the previous year, with tourists spending nearly £5billion. As both energy and tourism minister I warmly welcome the great work being done in this area and we will work to ensure this success story continues.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Venture capital firm backs roll-out of small community wind-energy schemes

A venture capital firm specialising in investments in innovative, high-growth technology companies is backing the roll-out of small community wind-energy schemes across the Highlands and islands. Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) said yesterday the £9million investment from its Environment Capital Fund into newly formed business Hamsin Wind aimed to deliver single units at about 200 high wind speed locations in the north. Working with development partners Mistral Energy and ABG Corporate Finance, Hamsin has appointed Ayrshire company Kingspan Wind as its turbine supply partner.