First Minister Defends Wind Farms On ‘Call Kay’
Alex Salmond was questioned on windfarms on BBC Scotland’s ‘Call Kay’ this morning. The caller asked him why ‘he insists on industrialising our beautiful countryside with windfarms.’
Mr. Salmond explained that we currently have 5GW of onshore wind capacity in Scotland and that this is planned to expand to 7GW in the next ten years. He pointed out that in fact only 0.05% of the land area of Scotland was ‘covered’ in wind turbines, less than the area covered in pig farms. He illustrated this by pointing out that en-route to Nigg yesterday by helicopter across a huge swathe of Scotland he only saw two windfarms.
He went on to say that the biggest expansion in wind over the next 10 years is offshore, where capacity will be going from virtually zero to 7GW. He went on to mention the two giant 5MW demonstrator turbines currently operating 20km offshore in the Beatrice oilfield in the Moray Firth, saying that from the shore they were tiny specks that you could barely see on a clear day. He claimed that there had been no objections at all to these.
Mr. Salmond emphasised that we had an ‘opportunity to re-engineer Scotland’ and that it was anticipated that the expansion of the wind industry would create 50,000 jobs, plus 10,000 from wave and tidal. We needed, he said, to ‘drive towards (renewables) full-scale as a country’