The winds of change continue to sweep across the renewable energy sector. Technology is moving forward rapidly with step-changes in the size, capacity and efficiency of wind turbines.
Windfarm operators in the north-east have received £1 million since the start of the year to turn off their turbines in high winds.
The UK Government’s decision to end wind farm subsidies, including closure of the Renewables Obligation to nearly all new generating capacity, has raised concerns across the nation’s renewable energy sector. New renewable generating stations will now be expected to seek support under the Contract for Difference (CFD) mechanism but this is only open to emerging technologies such as offshore wind. The more established means of renewable power generation including onshore wind, solar and biomass are currently excluded from CFD support.
Some people regard them as an integral, and even soothing, feature of modern Scotland – while others view them as a blot on the landscape that threatens to eviscerate the country’s natural beauty.
A new maintenance facility is to be built to serve offshore wind farms, creating scores of jobs.
Data from sports tracking app Strava have revealed cyclists and runners are using Scottish renewable energy tracks to rack up the miles.
Ministers have refused to give consent to two proposed wind farms in the Highlands as they would have a “significant and unacceptable” impact on landscape.
Australia has outlined plans to appoint a commissioner to crack down on windfarms.
nd farms contribute almost £9 million a year to community projects across Scotland, new figures have shown. The amount of community benefit cash paid to local good causes from on-shore wind farms has now reached just over £8.8 million a year, according to Local Energy Scotland. Grants paid out under the scheme have helped with a wide range of projects, including sending members of a West Lothian dance school to the European Street Dance Championships in Germany. Payments also allowed a new community hall to be build in Daviot, Aberdeenshire, and to a thermal imaging camera so residents in the Sutherland area of the Highlands can see where extra insulation is needed.
A row broke out last night after a survey showed that the majority of people living in the north and north-east of Scotland support wind power. The industry claimed the results shot down the “vocal minority” of objectors who claim that most Scots are opposed to giant turbines dotting the countryside. But anti-windfarm campaigners said the findings had to be “taken with a bucket of salt” as they did not separate those who are “adversely affected”, mainly people living in rural areas and communities targeted by wind developers.